Every week, Preen tackles motherhood sans the rose-tinted glasses. Our columnists L. Juliano, Marla Darwin, Monica Eleazar-Manzano, Rossana Unson, Chrina Cuna-Henson, and Ronna Capili-Bonifacio tell their personal experiences like it is—at times frustrating, oftentimes confusing, but always enlightening.
My earliest memory of Halloween was being dressed as a gypsy by my mom. Yes, you read it right. A GYPSY. I don’t really know the significance of the gypsy to Halloween (especially since back then, in the dark ages, Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame was just a dream in someone’s mind) but what I do remember was my basket (well, of course, gypsies carry baskets right??!) was full of candy at the end of the night. After that, everything is sort of hazy until I found myself the mother of a little girl with an older cousin who took costumes very seriously.
Thus began a family tradition of dressing up for Halloween and doing the yearly Trick or Treating activity. At first, her costumes were hand-me-downs from said older cousin but eventually as she got older and my income a little bigger, we began to choose and create our own.
One year, the most memorable for her, she was Lilo. I was extremely lucky to have found the cloth that was almost exactly the same print as Lilo’s dress and my sister generously assisted with the Stitch plushie. Because she looked so much like Lilo she got not just a lot more candy than anyone else, she was also complimented at how cute she was in all the houses we visited that day.
Then came my younger daughter who yes, inherited the Lilo dress but to my mind, was definitely more of a Princess Leia. The year she dressed as Princess Leia was one of the best Halloweens ever! In fact, she even won a Tomagotchi in one of the malls for her cute costume.
As soon as both my daughters were old enough to decide on their own, they began choosing and planning what their Halloween costumes would be as early as August.
While the objective of dressing up for Halloween is to scare people, dressing up as favorite characters teaches our kids valuable lessons which is why, even if these costumes are sometimes not very budget-friendly, the modest expense is worthwhile.
For one thing, it teaches our kids to plan ahead and be prepared. Obviously, a last-minute thought-of costume won’t come out as nice as one that was prepared for months in advance.
It also teaches them the rewards of creativity. The cooler and more awesome costume get more candy obviously, more “likes” on social media and more ooohs and aahhhs from passersby. Creativity reaps rewards! And what kid doesn’t like candy? The loot kids get even from the smallest village (I think ours is absolutely one of the smallest I know of and the amount of candy is astounding—frightening, in fact for parents who are thinking of the dental work kids who don’t brush are going to need!) is amazing!
Another valuable lesson that dressing up for Halloween teaches our kids is that being weird, at least for one day out of the year, is okay. So on this one day, our kids learn that it’s okay to be strange. Sometimes, the weirder, the better!
Last, but not the least important lesson dressing up for Halloween teaches our kids, is confidence. Confidence in choosing whatever costume they want to wear. Confidence that they chose the best possible outfit.
Of course, aside from the valuable life lessons dressing up for Halloween teaches our kids, it’s also just plain fun! I’ve come a long way since my gypsy days, too, and once in a while I do some dressing up myself. Halloween is one of the best holidays and my girls and I enjoy the day immensely. If you haven’t dressed your kids for Halloween, now would be a good time to start!
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