Halloween has come and gone so that means it’s Christmas, right? Well it certainly seems so according to the items for sale in stores and commercials on TV. What’s known as Christmas creep, the trend of holiday decorations appearing in stores well before the fall season is over, has been happening for months now. I adore the holiday season, but I’m not quite ready for fall to be over yet. I’m definitely not ready for cold weather, but I never am.
To be quite honest, I’m still in the mood to eat Halloween candy and watch “Hocus Pocus,” “The Craft” and one of my favorite childhood films, “The Worst Witch.” (You can watch “The Worst Witch” on Youtube and there’s a new Netflix series out based on the same book.)
Since our little man isn’t old enough to enjoy trick or treating or candy just yet, we didn’t do too much for Halloween. I feel like I need to start working now to plan our Halloween costumes for next year though. He still won’t to be eating candy at 15 months, but as he’ll likely be mobile by then it should make for a fun experience.
It might take some persuading of my husband, but I am plotting on some sort of matching themed costume for all three of us next year. I have a number of friends who go all out with their family’s themed Halloween costumes.
My good friend Erin is a stylist and salon owner in Winston-Salem and her family has had some amazing costumes these last few years. This year they all dressed up like characters from the popular show “Game of Thrones.” She said they usually choose an idea based on what’s trending in pop culture in a given year or ideas from their daughter’s favorite books. The past few years they have dressed up as vampires, “Alice in Wonderland” characters and “Star Wars.”
Starting early is the key, Erin said, although her husband would disagree.
“I typically start planning a year in advance, although Andy (my husband) always makes his costumes an hour before we leave, even though I’ve had the supplies for months!” she said.
Advance planning can also help cut down on expenses, Erin said.
“I use coupons for fabrics and sometimes will spend more money on certain pieces. I spent more on my wig this year because I wanted it to look authentic.”
Shopping at thrift stores is what my best friend Amanda suggested for a cheaper way to make creative costumes. Last year she found a dinosaur costume at a consignment shop that fit her son Xander perfectly. She then made cave man attire out of inexpensive leopard print blankets from Walmart for herself and her husband Ricky. While pregnant with Xander, Amanda and Ricky dressed as a chef and jar of “Prego” spaghetti sauce.
Xander, now 2 1/2, loves the show “Jake and the Neverland Pirate” so this year they did decide to spend a little extra to get the Jake costume. Ricky went as a Captain Hook and Amanda wore a mermaid costume. She purchased a mermaid skirt from a Halloween store, but used other pieces to create her final look. Using tips she found on Pinterest, they transformed Xander’s red wagon into a pirate ship to complete their theme.
Looks like I’m going to have to get on top of next year if I want to compete with my crafty friends.
If you’re still in the Halloween spirit, try these trash treats for a tasty snack. You can use up any leftover packs of M&Ms you didn’t hand out to trick-or-treaters.
• 3 tbsp. butter
• 1 (16-oz.) bag marshmallows
• 2 tbsp. peanut butter
• 4 c. potato chips, crushed
• 2 c. Pretzels, crushed
• 1/4 c. M&M’s
• 1/2 c. chocolate chips, melted
Grease a 9” x 9” pan with cooking spray. In a large pot over low heat, melt butter. Add marshmallows and stir until smooth. Add peanut butter and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and quickly stir in crushed chips and pretzels. Using a spatula or wax paper, press mixture into pan. Sprinkle with M&M’s. Drizzle with melted chocolate. Let chocolate cool and harden before serving, about 30 minutes.
Kitsey Burns Harrison is a reporter for the Yadkin Ripple. Here she shares her musings on life, love, food and being a new mom. She may be reached on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.