Halloween is upon us, and the kids could not be more excited. I think they look forward to this holiday more than almost any other (I think that Christmas still has the edge, what with the present factor and all) and have been planning their costumes for many weeks. They really enjoy making their own costumes, and Miss Serious especially has been putting in a lot of energy to the finishing touches of her costume. She is rarely something mainstream (last year she was Fern the Green Fairy from the Fairy series of books. She loves these books, and they encompass pretty much any kind of fairy you can think of - jewel fairies, color fairies, weather fairies. I can't tell you how grateful I was when she became able to read them on her own, because they could not be more excruciating...) and this year is going to be a rock star. She made a microphone, and carefully chose an outfit, which consists of jeans, a sparkly shirt, and boots. I put a big ponytail on the top of her head, and we crimped her hair. She got some colored hair braids from my cousin, and is wearing dangly earrings, sparkly nail polish and makeup. I had some concerns (I kept them to myself, as Miss Serious does not enjoy hearing these kinds of concerns) that no one would actually know what she was supposed to be, but my fears were alleviated when I saw her making a drawing yesterday; turns out it was a fancy sign that said "Rock Star" that she is going to tape to her shirt. Always thinking, that one.
Big Trouble decided to be a vet, and as he really loves animals, this was a perfect choice. The Professor dug up a white lab coat (I safety pinned it from giant to kid-size) and went to the vet's office and got some tongue depressors and gloves. From around the house we gathered a stethoscope, a syringe, and a prescription bottle. We put a bandaid on one of his stuffed animals, and made him a little clip-on name tag. Good to go.
Obviously, other than the costume fun, the big draw of Halloween is the Trick or Treating. Last year we started a new tradition - it's called reverse trick or treating, and is to help expand awareness of fair trade chocolate and the issues involved in the growing of cocoa beans. The children are sent (for free - love that!) a packet of informational cards and fair trade chocolates. When they trick or treat, they give one of these to the person answering the door. It caused a little confusion last year (who expects to be handed something at their door?) but I found that people were really receptive to the whole concept. The labor issues in the chocolate industry are one of those things that most people (including, recently, myself) are unaware of, and this is a fun way to get the information (and a little chocolate) out. Obviously it's too late for this year, but the info on how to do it is here.