Trailer Park Unschoolers

Because you don't need to be rich to unschool!

How Halloween Was Saved


Yup, we’re poor.  My pay card keeps reminding me of that every time we go to pay the bills.  Once that’s said and done we have very little left over.  As the end of the month crept up we started to wonder what we were possibly going to do for Halloween.  Since I had Corde we always did something for Halloween.  Corde’s first Halloween was our first in Salem.  Corde got dressed up and hit the streets, but went home  early, exhausted, to hang with her dad.  Her second Halloween we dressed her up as a china doll and took her to a Halloween party with a friend.  The year after that she was a Gypsy and had her first trick-or-treat.  She was a turtle in Vermont.  After that, Beekee hit the scene and they went as a princess and a “demon child”.  I was too tired to do anything so he just got a pair of horns.  When he was a year old he was a scarecrow and Corde was a witch, both costumes borrowed from a friend.  The next year was a bit traumatic because I was sick and Oz wasn’t there to trick-or-treat with us, but we still got a homemade black cat for Corde and a little Army soldier.  Then there was Link, a pink bunny, and a skeleton.  After that we had a gypsy, “zombeekee” and a Jedi costume given to us by a friend.  Last year’s costumes were cheap because, well, a zombie is all in the make-up and Corde used pieces she already had combined with some stuff that I had and we made it work.

This year it was apparent that someone wasn’t going to get a costume.  I wasn’t sure I would be up for taking all four of them out myself because Oz was working.  I was starting to get depressed about the whole thing, so the kids agreed that we didn’t have to do Halloween this year.  They didn’t mind.  They understood what getting costumes would mean and didn’t want to stress me out by making me walk all over town with a bunch of kids.  They were really understanding.

Then our neighbors invited us to the safe trick-or-treat downtown.  It would mean we had four other adults to help wrangle kids, which seemed like a much more reasonable idea.  It would also mean the addition of four other kids, but one of them is younger than Luca, so that wasn’t a bad deal.  It would also mean the kids could trick-or-treat with their friends.

Of course, this also meant going completely out of my mind.  I had no idea what we were going to do for costumes.  We had great ideas for what we were going to do, but we didn’t have any time or money to make it happen.  Our last-minute back-up plan wasn’t pulling together too well, especially with everyone changing their minds and making last-minute suggestions.  We could do a Gypsy or belly dancer or something for Corde.  Beekee wanted to be Percy Jackson.  Sander was going to be an elf of some sort.  Lucabear was going to be, well, a bear!  He could wear his little bear cap and that would be perfect.  Unfortunately, that also meant we had to find everything.  We couldn’t find the blue backpack for Beekee (and he couldn’t be Percy Jackson without the backpack from Ares).  Lucabear’s hat was missing.  Corde couldn’t find half of her costume.  We had no idea how to get Sander into a costume because we couldn’t keep him from stripping every five minutes no matter what we got him into.  It was starting to look like a disaster, like it was never going to happen.

Corde as a Gypsy dancer

Well, a little creativity took over.  Corde decided she was going to be a “Gypsy dancer” like last year, but it was okay that she didn’t have the headband, jewelry, and scarves from last year.  “Gypsies are supposed to be poor.  I just used the last of our money to get food because it was better than starving.  I’ll have to earn more later.”  She also made the practical choice to go barefoot (after stealing a pair of shoes we were given for Beekee that fit her feet right now).  The shoes didn’t match the costume and it seemed practical that a Gypsy be barefoot because they’re not rich.  She obviously wore through her shoes and couldn’t afford new ones yet.  She’s such a funny, practical girl!  Strangely, that purple top she’s wearing is mine.  I got it not long before Beekee was born.  It had stitching to gather it in the front which long-since has come undone.  It was ordered to small, so while I wore it now and again, it was never comfortable.  It looks great on Corde though.  That’s become a permanent part of her Gypsy costume.  The skirt she wore was something I picked up for her years ago when she was interested in learning belly dance.  She never learned to dance, but she loves it anyway.  She wears it to any event she possibly can. I love that it cost nothing and she picked it all out herself.  I love that she enjoys coming up with her own costumes so much rather than relying on store-bought costumes like so many other kids do.  Next year she wants to see what she can do to make her own costume, or at least improve on the one she did this year.  I’m all for that.

Dread Pirate Beekee

Beekee originally was going to go as Percy Jackson, but I was kind of hoping he’d want to go as something a little more interesting.  I made a couple of suggestions, but only one managed to stick.  He was going to go as a pirate.  I pulled out some of Oz’s old renaissance garb and wanted to see if there was anything we could cobble together.  Beekee tried out one of Oz’s swordsman shirts and we rolled the sleeves up.  It looked awesome once I tossed a sparkly black sash around his waist.  Then I put my skull and crossbones bandanna in his hair because he loves purple, so I had to find one his favorite color.  Besides, a skull and crossbones is much more pirate-like than paisley any day.  Beekee said, “It’s too bad it’s not a black shirt so I could be a black pirate.”  I surprised him by hopping up and grabbing a black shirt out of the closet.  It had laces at the wrists so I wrapped the cord around several times to give it the look of bracers.  He ended up wearing a tee shirt under in case it got cold.  We took a pair of Oz’s pants from when he was younger, the kind you wear with renaissance garb, and that set most of the costume.  He got a couple of comments about being the Dread Pirate Roberts, but he didn’t get the reference. We’ve never watched The Princess Bride, though I think the kids might like it.  He decided he would be the Dread Pirate Beekee instead.  We finished the costume off with a necklace he got at Pirate Fest last June and a belt pouch Oz had with his renaissance gear.  I even gave him a blow-up sword from our trip out to Pirate Fest, but it was left at home with the last minute excitement.  It’s probably for the best.  It would just be one more thing to get lost.  Just like Corde he decided the shoes had to go.  His shoes had spiderwebs on them and kind of went with the Halloween feel, but the moment everyone else’s shoes came off, his had to go too.  I’ve got some seriously crazy barefoot kids!

Prince Sander

Sander was a challenge this year.  He’s not a huge fan of being dressed these days.  He’s particularly big on going without pants because it’s one less complication for going to the bathroom.  It’s not always so much of a pain when we’ve got his “bubble butt” on him.  That’s what we call his cloth diapers and diaper cover.  Still, nothing we tried worked.  He wanted to go as an elf of some kind.  Then he decided he wanted to wear one of Daddy’s shirts.  Next thing I know he’s picked out a tabard and hat from Oz’s old stuff from when he was about Corde’s age.  He was going to wear that.  We finally had to help him pick out a shirt to wear with it, so he got one of Corde’s polo shirts.  We’re not entirely sure what he was supposed to be.  Maybe he was a knight.  Maybe he was a page.  He could have been a prince.  We’d asked him several times but I never quite understood the answer he kept giving me.  The best we could figure is he was some kind of prince.  He loves castles, princes, and knights, so I’m not surprised.  Of course, we had to have a loss in the trip.  While I was off dealing with the costume contest our neighbor’s husband was in charge of the kids.  While he was in charge of the kids Sander lost his hat.  It kind of killed the look of his costume, but I suppose it’s not so bad.  I’ll have to make him a new one for the next time we go out to events.  It’s thankfully easy sewing, easy pieces, and just takes a little bit of velvet.  I could put in an eyelet like that one had to put a feather in the cap and he’d be all set for next year.  You can really see his personality in the only picture I was really able to get of him.  I kind of wish I’d gotten video for how silly he sounded.  The poor guy was so tired by the end of the night that he was ready to pack it in and go home.  He almost decided to go home instead of going to the last few houses, but he wanted to stay with his brother and sister too much.  There was no way he’d let them get more candy than he got!

Luca right before the costume contest with our neighbor

Luca was the hardest one to costume.  We couldn’t find his bear hat so I decided to look for a bandanna to put on his head.  The first one was too big, but I found a smaller one.  He wore that at the house for about an hour while I looked for something to go with it.  I finally found a pirate-themed shirt that’s sized at 18 months, and I would have him wear a pair of his longies.  That would have to do.  Then the Link hat freed up when Sander didn’t want it, so I went crazy looking for a shirt to go with the hat.  Finally he ended up in a 5T shirt of Beekee’s, his brown longies, and Daddy’s Link hat.  He was Link from The Legend of Zelda.  He made so many people happy!  I was surprised by how many people recognized a somewhat obscure video game character.  I was talked into putting him into the costume contest.  The winners for each category were kind of disappointing in Luca’s age group.  Every single costume was store-bought, but that always happens.  That’s kind of the sad part of Halloween.  Original costumes are no longer rewarded.  It seems to be a contest for the most expensive store-bought costume.  However, he did come in second for most beautiful, beating out the three tigers and a couple of princesses.  He got a ring pop (that Sander stole), two bottles of bubbles, a pair of Halloween socks that are too big for him (but will be perfect next year), and a cute little prize ribbon that we’re going to hang over his crib.  Next year I’m going to come up with something and we’re going to enter him again.  The kids were all so excited that the costume they made for him won something that they want to be a part of making it happen next year too.

Next year we’ve decided we’re going to make up for all the Halloweens that have been more difficult in the past.  We want to try and win the group category for the costume contest.  We also want to keep trying to come up with the best costumes for the littlest member of the family each year because all the older kids have so much fun trying to figure out what they wear.  I think it’s a start to a very good tradition.

We almost had a horrible Halloween this year, the worst in a long time, but we were able to pull it out of nowhere.  We didn’t spend any money and everyone had fun.  I’m starting to remember what half the fun of Halloween is.  When I was a kid I always wanted one of those fancy store-bought costumes, but my mom always insisted our homemade ones were better.  Now I’m starting to realize that homemade really are so much better, especially when the kids can take part in making it themselves.  Not only was Halloween saved, but it was the best one in a long time.

As always, clicking on the product links on my pages will bring you to my Amazon store.  Any money I earn through my Amazon store will be put towards reuniting Oz with the son he’s never met.  We appreciate all the help!


Author: Fox

With four kids, who has time for much? We spend a lot of time together, which translates to a lot of knitting time for me when we hang out. We've been trying to get back to our unschooling roots. We watch a lot of videos, play a lot of games, and pay attention to the things we notice in our everyday life. It's been quite the big adventure!

2 thoughts on “How Halloween Was Saved

  1. Amazing what a loving mom, cool kids, and a little imagination can accomplish! I’m glad you guys were able to have fun and didn’t miss Halloween!

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