by Julia Buckley
As Halloween approaches, I tend to feel nostalgic, not only for the Halloweens of my children's youth, but those of my own. I remember Halloween being a very family-oriented event, and my mother, always one to note the changing seasons, made much of helping us find costumes (often lending her talents as a seamstress to the cause) and to do fun Halloween things. One year she wrote a play that she encouraged us to perform with our friends for a gathering of parents. Another year she made homemade deep-fried donuts filled with jam and offered them, with hot cider, to all of the children who tramped through the house.
In the photo above, I am wearing a giant witch's hat--a costume my mother saw in a magazine and felt confident she could make herself. I thought it seemed interesting, so I gave her the go-ahead and ended up looking like an extra from Macbeth. I'm amazed, looking back, that my mother didn't settle for sweatpants and a T-shirt under that cardboard hat; no, it was the full blouse and skirt with festive red hose and shiny black shoes. I am a far lazier mother than she, I must admit. :)
You might wonder how difficult it was to Trick-or-Treat while wearing a giant cardboard cone. The answer is: very. I also recall being pretty sweaty under there. I think I had much in common with Scout Finch--remember the scene in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD when Scout was dressed as a giant ham, and therefore couldn't see much of anything around her? She only heard things and saw tiny bits of scenery through her eye holes.
Luckily, I did not face any of the dangers Scout faced; I merely lost out on some candy opportunities because I didn't want to walk as far in my huge hat.
What I recall most, though, is that I felt special in the big hat because my mother had made it for me, and it had required a great deal of time, energy, and woman power. So I knew that I was loved while I sweated in my hat, and my parents photographed my strange costume for posterity.
Do you have a favorite Halloween costume? And did anyone EVER dress as a giant hat?
:) (photo circa 1972)