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It's a bird! It's a plane! ...No, it's a cute little witch with a broom!
Aside from the candy, dressing up in a costume is the most fun thing about Halloween! Who doesn't like to unleash their inner demon or inner cheerleader- or both- for one night out of the year? And who doesn't like using the having-fun-dressing-up excuse to sucker your neighbors out of choice goodies? Or using that same excuse to scare the living daylights out of your neighbors! But did you know that costumes weren't always as we see them today?

Costumes weren't always as we see them today...
In fact, a long time ago, they were used as a defensive mechanism. Depending on where you go for information (and because before recorded history as we know it, it's difficult to pin down details), costumes for Halloween originated with the Celtic festival of Samhain where the dead could cross the veil to the living world. Now, this is fabulous if your dead grandmother comes to visit for the evening and host a pleasant sewing bee... but not so groovy if a demon claws its way out of the underworld to play tricks on humans or the Seelie Court of the Fae are looking for someone to sacrifice on their Samhain tithe. So, many people would dress in ghoulish costumes if they went out on Samhain night, in the hopes that looking like the nasty beasties from the underworld would be tricked into thinking the disguised human was also a nasty beastie- and hence leave the disguised human alone! That tradition has been filtered down through the ages to leave us with simply dressing up as something you aren't and having a good time. And we all do have a good time, don't we?

What should I be?
Well, knowing now where the whole costume thing comes from, you have a choice- scary or not scary? You also have the choice between homemade (like costumes were up until the 1930's), or storebought. If you want a storebought costume because you aren't good with sewing, or just don't have a sewing spree in you this year (in which case I know how you feel), click on one of the links in the "Buy A Costume" section. For those of you who would prefer homemade, click under the "Costuming Links" for ideas, patterns, tutorials, and such. If you need something quick, easy, and semi-homemade, click on one of the links below for costume ideas from me, with step-by-step instructions!

Costumes are great, but they need to be age-appropriate! 5-year-olds don't need to be harem girls, and 60-year-olds... Well, unless you're one amazing age 60, neither do you! Make sure your costumes will be visible if you're going trick-or-treating at night to avoid car accidents. And make sure that proper safety procedures are followed if you're making your own costume- no small children near sharp objects or hot glue guns and irons!

Some and/or all of the following links may contain imagery of the Gothic lifestyle you don't want your children seeing. It is guaranteed that some of the following links contain profane language. I am pleased that you are encouraging your children to find their own voice... but please PLEASE be responsible and supervise children under the age of 16 to ensure their Internet experience continues to be both fun and safe!

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