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So here’s the thing about being a preacher’s kid: it can give you a childhood that’s a little off the beaten path in certain ways.
My family didn’t celebrate the secular, mainstream version of Halloween until I was 11*, so I only had a few years of trick-or-treating and picking out a costume before I aged out of that tradition. I was so thrilled to finally be able to dress up, get some candy, and say “Trick or Treat” that I didn’t worry about choosing creative costumes. One year I was a nurse, another one I was a mime, and I don’t remember what I decided to be that third year. I wasn’t allowed to pick anything scary or gross, and late October used to be a much colder time of year than it often is now, so I probably picked the warmest costume I could find.
*We went to Harvest Festivals instead which are a Christian alternative to Halloween for some denominations. They were an interesting mixture of the sort of cute Halloween or autumn party you might throw for a class of preschoolers and some scary skits about various religious topics like the spiritual dangers of trick-or-treating. I don’t believe we were allowed to dress up for them because that was considered sinful, but we did get candy, a few small toys, and to play fun games like bobbing for apples!
The most creative Halloween costume I’ve seen on someone else was made to look like a pink birthday cake. This person spent hours decorating cardboard to look like a cake, and I think they used pink and white tissue paper or something to give the appearance of light, fluffy frosting on the cake. It was a beautiful costume but apparently rather stiff and uncomfortable to wear.
One year I also saw about a half dozen people dressed as dominos (the game pieces, not the pizza place). I always wondered how they decided who would be which domino and where they got their costumes from.
I’ve never gotten into dressing up for Halloween as an adult, but I know what I’d pick if I did.
Think about it: you get to stay warm, comfortable, and anonymous under your cozy bedsheet, gently frighten the locals without resorting to anything gory or offensive, and maybe even rattle some cool metal chains.
What’s not to like about that?
It’s a vastly underrated costume choice if you ask me. I haven’t seen anyone dressed up as a ghost in Toronto in years, and I think this deserves a strong comeback.
If I’m going to dress up, it’s going to be in something comfortable and practical even if it is Halloween.
Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.