I have managed to avoid the cost for years now. The first Halloween we went trick-or-treating was when Amabel was three (because before then, she didn't really eat candy). I just put her in some of her dress old up clothes. She went as a princess and was perfectly happy. August wore a monkey costume I purchased off ebay. He was adorable! The next year, we were good and broke and we put off looking for costumes for as long as we could. George and I went to Target the Saturday before Halloween and found pretty much the last two costumes in the whole store, two fleece leopard costumes in just the sizes we needed, for two or three dollars apiece. Unfortunately, everyone kept calling the children "kitties" that Halloween and August was usually referred to as one of the "kitty girls." Oops! We didn't know anyone in the neighborhood and he was only two, but we decided to be a little more organized and a lot more masculine the next year- not that ferocious beasts aren't masculine! So I ended up asking for "dress up clothes" from the grandparents for the kids' birthdays that year with the intention of having them wear their dress up clothes for Halloween (my parents are anti-Halloween so I couldn't have just told them I wanted them for Halloween). The older kids went trick-or-treating in very swanky Woody and Jessie costumes from the Disney Store that year. And newborn baby Elspeth was a sunflower in one of those bunting costumes from Babystyle (I got it on ebay). But the next year Halloween crept up on me again and George and I ended up finding costumes the weekend before again at a little consignment shop outside Chicago (randomly!). Amabel's costume was the ugliest fleece purple unicorn costume ever- yet all kids love that costume, August was a dragon, and I just put fairy wings and a tutu on Elspeth and made her a fairy. Last year the girls were fairies again. Or butterflies. It's hard to say. Amabel wore her tutu and fairy wings and we made antennae out of a headband, felt, and pipe cleaners. We were trying to match Elspeth's fleece butterfly costume that I had nabbed from Old Navy for $5! Elspeth wore her tutu too, so the girls were sort of matching, but no one seemed to be able to tell. August borrowed a Spider Man costume.
And here we are to this year. My sister purchased costumes on clearance last year after Halloween and gave them to the kids for dress up as Christmas gifts. Unfortunately, people usually underestimate how tall my kids are and get them clothes that don't fit. So the costumes they got for Christmas were all a little small to begin with, and will not fit any of them for Halloween ten months later. She went ahead and got August a Star Wars costume for his birthday last month to remedy his part of the problem, but he stepped on the plastic mask and broke it! I ordered him a new mask off ebay, but now I am realizing that he needs some sort of long underwear to go underneath the costume because it is thin and see through (and white, no less, because it's a storm trooper costume). So my cheap costume idea, pawning it off on my sister, is turning out to be not so cheap.
Amabel has no idea what she wants to be. I found an American Girl Felicity dress on ebay a couple of weeks ago and allowed Amabel to pool her own money with the maximum amount I was willing to spend, and we still lost the auction big time. I think the bidding started at $4 and ended at $40! Yikes! She knows she doesn't want to be a cheerleader, a ballerina, a fairy, Mr. Rogers, or a banana. George and I have a running joke, that she in no way appreciates, that she wants to dress up like a banana or Mr. Rogers. I wish she did want to dress up like Mr. Rogers. What an easy costume! Since August is going as a storm trooper, we have, naturally, been toying with the idea of Amabel as Princess Leia. There is a Princess Leia costume at Target right now for $20. I'm thinking that the odds of it still being there when everything goes down to half price is pretty slim. I actually found the dress without the wig (which makes it cheaper- and Amabel doesn't need a wig because I can fix her hair in two buns) in her size and then forgot to bid on it! So, you know, if you have a long plain white gown with bell sleeves, let me know!
If I somehow snag a white robe for Amabel (I wonder if Pastor Meyers would lend her his...), thus keeping with a Star Wars theme, I was thinking that Elspeth would be really cute as an Ewok. I am slightly annoyed with the inconsistency of having Amabel in the Leia costume from A New Hope and Elspeth as an Ewok in Return of the Jedi, but there is no way I'm letting my daughter wear a gold bikini, and the other Leia attire in the movie is pretty unrecognizable. George says none of this matters as long as we're not acting out a scene. I'm thinking he forgets how seriously people take Halloween around here. Do you know they make you ask them a joke before they give you any candy? Some people even want you to come in the house and show everyone in the living room your costume! And I am not talking about our neighbors from seminary housing, I mean people in George's mom's neighborhood that have no idea who we are! Anyway, I'm kidding about it bothering anyone. I just wanted to openly acknowledge it before someone else pointed it out. I figure I will get Elspeth a bear costume and drape some fabric over her head and she'll look just like Wicket.
A little bit of trivia for you, the actor who played Wicket is the same actor who played Willow (in Willow) and the same actor who plays Professor Flitwick (in the Harry Potter movies). He also plays Nikabrik in the upcoming Narnia film, Prince Caspian, and was was the walking version of Yoda in The Phantom Menace. He is also Chewbacca's stunt double. Nah, I'm kidding about that last one! But evidently, he was the lead in the Leprechaun movies as well, of which there are six. You know, because you just never know when someone will ask you, "Hey, who played the Leprechaun in the Leprechaun movies?" Also handy to know? Jennifer Anniston also starred in the first Leprechaun movie. Now aren't you glad you stopped by for this?! You're welcome.