Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween History - Campbell Family Style!

A few weeks ago the awesome team at Comic Con Family asked if I would be willing to do a bit of Q&A regarding our family Halloween costume tradition for them to feature on their site. And of course I was more than happy to jump at that chance :) It's a super fun site and I love sharing our tradition, so it felt like a perfect match. Brandie posted some of our pictures and a bit of our story last week. You should check it out HERE. My kids totally feel like celebrities hehehe.

I thought maybe I'd go ahead and share the questions I was asked and the questions I gave. Our tradition of dressing up in coordinated costumes has been such a fun thing for our family! I love sharing the details when people are interested!

Why did you start dressing up as a family? What was the first year you did and what were the ages of the kids then?
We dabbled in coordinated costumes starting in 2001 when our two sons were dressed as a vampire and a bat. It just seemed like a fun idea at the time and the kids enjoyed it. The first few years that we tried to coordinate we focused only on the kids and we had a few years mixed in where everyone just chose their own costumes. We all love dressing up though, and in 2008, with our family complete, we got serious about our family costumes! That year we had an 11 year old son, a 7 year old son, a 3 year old son and a 6 month old baby daughter. We had recently moved to a new area and decided we were going to start a family tradition at that point and do coordinating costumes. We had no idea how well-received it would be and once we got that first positive reaction we were hooked on the fun and challenge of coming up with new family costume ideas each year after that.
Here are some of our earliest coordinated costumes!
2002 - Vampire and Baby Bat
2004 - Spiderman and Doc Oc
2005 - We affectionately refer to this as "The Year of Three Vaders"
2006 - Two of the boys wanted to be ninjas
When do you start planning, brainstorming, and making your costumes? (how far in advance, etc). Do you do all the work or does anyone else in the family help?
Honestly, we're almost ALWAYS talking about our upcoming Halloween costumes! Any time someone has a brainstorm idea it gets floated to the rest of the family, whether it's January or July. We're even known to scout Halloween parties and check out other costume ideas we see and talk about our next year's plan before we've even finished celebrating the current year. We try to really nail down our costume plan by the end of September so we can start gathering costume accessories and creating what we make from scratch. I do the majority of the work, but everyone pitches in to some degree. Without fail, I'm still scrambling with last minute touches (or sometimes even big projects!) for the costumes on Halloween day. One year I remember putting the final touches on my own costume in the car on the way to the Halloween party.
Which of your costumes was the easiest? Which was the hardest? Which one was the least expensive? Most expensive?
The easiest and least expensive was definitely 2012, when we printed and cut out paper "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" masks, wore white shirts and denim on the bottom. We actually had an entirely different costume planned and prepared for, but at the last minute we realized none of us were terribly sold on the original idea and we scrapped it ON HALLOWEEN DAY! We found a few printable masks online, and I designed masks for the characters that we couldn't find already created, we printed, cut out and taped our masks to handles (made with Lego bricks!) and voila! Halloween costumes that were a HUGE hit, practically free and super easy to make.

2012 - Last minute costume change resulted in our easiest family costume yet! Diary of a Wimpy Kid
The hardest was definitely the Wizard of Oz year because I naively undertook the job of sewing my daughter's Dorothy costume and altering my Glinda dress on my own. I am NOT a seamstress by any stretch of the imagination, so that was a humongous project that caused me a lot of grief, but yielded plenty of ooohs and aaaahs so it was worth it.
2008 - The first year we coordinated as an entire family - Wizard of Oz
The most expensive was definitely the Peter Pan year. We had very little in our closets that naturally lent itself to the costumes we needed and the characters are so iconic that we had to do it right. So we did a LOT of thrift shop scouring for about 6 weeks prior to the holiday and gathered pieces from probably 8 or 9 various Goodwill and Salvation Army stores before we finally had everything we needed. Everything except an appropriate Wendy dress, that is, so I had to make myself a costume that year, as well, and the fabric I chose was pricier than I should have chosen. But again, the response to our family themed costumes was totally worth the work and cost involved.
2011 - Iconic well-known and well-loved looks made this particular family costume tricky to find and pricey to put together, but totally worth it in the end! Peter Pan
Is anyone in the family ever reluctant to participate?
Our oldest son is 16 now and has been the most reluctant, but that's partly just his personality. We always try to choose fun themes that give the kids plenty of costume options so they're not stuck with something lame just to fit the theme. I was actually really worried the year we did Peter Pan because I thought my sons dressing as John and Michael would think they had uncool costumes but they both LOVED their costumes and characters that year, much to my surprise. (I was prepared to offer them the chance to be Lost Boys if they refused John and Michael.) We have also started letting the kids fashion their own costumes for at school or at friend parties if they prefer, as long as they'll just cooperate with our family themed costume for whatever family events we attend.
Which costume is your personal favorite? Which costumes received the biggest reaction from people?
Each time we coordinate as an entire family we get such fun and positive reaction that it's actually hard to pick just one personal favorite. I absolutely LOVE the reactions we get from people as they realize what they're seeing and they put our whole family together. Wizard of Oz was particularly funny when people would recognize my 6'4" husband as the most gigantic munchkin ever to walk the planet. And my then 12 year old, 5'5" son as a "Little Green Army Man" for our Toy Story theme year got great laughs every time someone figured out his character, as well. My then 10 year old son who wanted us to shave his head completely bald to be Uncle Fester the year we dressed as the Addams Family got some amazing reaction too, as you can imagine.
2010 - Toy Story
2011 - Creepy and kooky! The Addams Family
What do you and your family usually do on Halloween? (trick or treating? family party? fun dinner? and feel free to share does your church do the truck or treating? etc)
We typically attend a church trunk-or-treat and Halloween party as a family. And of course we go trick-or-treating in our own neighborhood, as well. We LOVE Halloween! And dressing together as an entire family has helped us enjoy the holiday even more!
2013 - We've already attended our church's Trunk or Treat party! It was a happy, happy, happy time as
the Robertsons from Duck Dynasty (plus our little duck!)

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you shared this interview! It was fun to remember each of these a few before the family ones started!