Ask some of my closest friends about me and one of the first things they’ll probably tell you is that I like Halloween. A lot. As in, I wish it was socially acceptable for a 36-year-old woman to don a costume and ring doorbells asking for candy.
Alas, it’s not socially acceptable, and that’s why I have children.
If you’re reading this, you probably have them too, and if you’re going to take them out to score some candy this year, now’s a good time to start thinking about costumes. The longer you wait, the cheaper they ain’t.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Snag early bird retail deals
As stores are getting their Halloween displays going, I’ve noticed some clearance-priced items among the mix of getups they’re selling, as well as some early sales on new ones. Spotted in the past week: half-price costumes at Menard’s, 30 percent off at Toys R’ Us, and $5-$15 “as is” costumes at Dallas & Co. I’m guessing this is a trend, so it might be worth your time to check out other retailers to see if there are some priced-to-sell items among their seasonal offerings.
Resale stores have already put out their racks of Halloween costumes. Although I love shopping resale, I find it a VERY hit-or-miss way of acquiring a nice, complete costume. Having said that, I did pick up a Snow White dress of awesome quality for Kate at the Salvation Army store on John St. It needed a little sewing, but was otherwise in great shape. It cost a mere $3.50, and although she’ll probably use it only for dress-up, it would make for a more than respectable trick-or-treating disguise.
Shopping resale is also a great way to get bits and pieces of costumes, especially if your child’s look is going to be a hodgepodge of elements (think clown, hippie, scarecrow, etc.). Finding these items can be a painstaking process of hitting several different stores, maybe more than once, so—again—it’s good to start early.
Host a costume-swap
While you’ve still got plenty of time to plan, you may want to consider rounding up some families for a costume-swap party. That’s a great way to unload some of your old costumes, perhaps pick up a few new ones for free, and get one more festive, relatively fuss-free Halloween event on the calendar.
One more reason to make mummy dogs and jack o’ lantern cookies—what could be better?
Rachael McMillan just took part-time job number 5,482: teaching 6th and 7th grade history at Campus Middle School for girls. She also tutors at The Reading Group and serves as the education coordinator for Ten Thousand Villages, a fair trade retailer in downtown Champaign. She is totally in love with her Chambana life, which she shares with husband Scott, kindergartner Kate, and first-grader Jack.