It is early on a Monday morning as I walk the aisles of my favorite thrift store, searching for the perfect pieces to complete my family’s Halloween costumes. I pass each clothing rack, only briefly stopping to sort through dresses and tops, repeatedly consulting the saved pictures on my phone to see if I found a match. By the end of the morning, I have scored the perfect shirt, blanket, and dress from our list, and now all we need are a few wigs, which I will order online. I sometimes question whether this works for the time it takes to do the planning and the shopping, but then I remind myself that memories are worth the required effort.
As a family, we adopted the tradition of choosing a group costume years ago at our daughter’s request. She wanted us to go as the cast of The Wizard of Oz. She dressed as Dorothy, of course. I selected Glenda the Good Witch; my husband was the Tin Man. We tried to convince our pre-teen to dress as the tornado, but he refused and acted as our photographer.
For my friend Emily, choosing the perfect coordinating costumes began as a cute idea for her twin nephews but, through the years, transformed into a simple way to intentionally incorporate memory-making moments into every occasion.
Here is what she shared with me about adopting the tradition:
PPT: Were matching costumes a tradition you did with your mother growing up?
Emily: Mom and I never dressed up, but on our first Halloween, she was a cow, and I was a baby cow, but that was the only time.
PPT: What inspired you to incorporate the tradition with the twins? And do you do this annually?
Emily: Yes, even before they were born, I knew that we would dress them alike. So they had many matching outfits in general. So, when their first Halloween came around, I found Tigger and Pooh Bear onesies, and I wanted to buy them whether or not they wore them for Halloween. They were only eight months old, so we chose to match them while they were too young to decide. But, I was all in the year we went as the Peanuts gang. I found their costumes on Mercari and knew I had to have them. And I just wanted to do something special for them.
PPT: When did you start incorporating the theme idea for yourself?
Emily: Well, the twin factor made themed costumes a natural choice. However, I wanted to join them! So I decided to be Charlie Brown for their first year living with us, which was when they were Snoopy and Woodstock. They were Mario and Luigi the following year, and I wore a matching t-shirt. It became a family affair, and these simple touches made the holiday fun.
PPT: What has been your favorite theme throughout the years? Why?
Emily: I loved them all! In the past, they’ve been Captain Hook and Peter Pan, Elmo and Cookie Monster, Toy Story‘s Woody and Buzz plus Mike and Sully from Monsters Inc, but my mind keeps returning to the Charlie Brown year. That is mainly because that was the first time they lived with us. It was also the first year I was in charge in these areas, and we celebrated big. We did a big Halloween and a huge Christmas. I also went all Pinterest on their birthday party that year to make it extra special. I wanted them to make memories. Memories are important.