The Red Boots

The possibilities are frightening

The possibilities are frightening

Now that we have Thanksgiving firmly behind us (in Canada) we can turn our undivided attention to Hallowe’en. I mention this because if  you are  in the habit of creating your own costume you’ll need to get cracking.

We may have had more fun putting together homemade Hallowe’en costumes with the kids than any other parental activity. Many people can’t be bothered and head straight for a store to buy or rent something in one neat package.

It is ironic that one of the people I knew in the costume rental business hated Hallowe’en. She simply couldn’t stand having indecisive people in her shop. I think she ground her teeth down to mere stumps dealing with  fuzzy-headed individuals who needed to be spoon fed ideas.

Trust me, all the raw ingredients for a memorable dress up are right there in your home. You just need to be open to the creative possibilities. Go to the back of the closet. Head for the attic. Break down the components of a costume and brainstorm using unconventional elements in the design. For years it seemed as though we built all of those kids’ costumes starting with a foundation of red gumboots.

Red-booted pirates with duct-taped buckles.

Red-booted pirates with duct-taped buckles.

The red boots made it into pirate outfits and superhero duds. The Cat in the Hat and the Ghostbusters years employed the red boots as well.

I can still remember my mother helping me glue fake fingernails on a pair of cloth gloves so I could hit the streets as an dauntingly-clawed werewolf. I couldn’t have been more than 7 years old but the memory, after all this time, remains fresh.

As recently as just a couple of years ago I spent an entire day with one of my grown sons helping him assemble a very strange Hallowe’en outfit for work. This was a bizarre setup with heavily-doctored pair of pants, some newspaper-stuffed shirt sleeves and a pair of black gloves…all of it designed to look like he was being carried on the shoulders of a troll. The experience took me right back to those childhood days when Trick or Treating was an all-consuming passion. Damn few things have the capacity to make me feel like a kid again.

Mounting a troll

Mounting a troll

Our children are adults now and (hopefully, some day) they’ll be rooting through their own closets at Hallowe’en for their kids. Frankly, I can’t wait.


2 Responses to “The Red Boots”

  1. Wow dad, that brings back a lot of memories. I guess the Ghostbusters costume you made me didn’t include red boots eh? Well, i think some of your creativity must have rubbed off on us (your sons) , because our best costumes that we have had, we have made from scratch.

    • I believe the Ghostbusters costume, which consisted of a cardboard box connected to a dryer hose, shower attachment and super squirter, did involve the red boots..but, hard as I tried, I could not find the photo to back it up.

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