The Trick To A Stress-free Halloween

It’s starting.

Everywhere I go these days, it seems I’m greeted by endless rows of Halloween candy.

That’s a scary thought!

I’m not talking about the temptation to overdo it on sugary treats. That’s a given.


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Hana as Tinkerbell, Halloween 2012 | Photos from Tannya Joaquin

Isn’t that part of the Halloween tradition?

No, what’s truly frightening for me is the thought of finding the right costumes for my children. They’ve graduated from whatever Mom picks for them. This year, both kids will choose their own costumes – and I have to deliver.

I had a taste of how challenging that can be a couple years ago. My son had his heart set on being a firefighter.

Great choice, right? Yes, so great that every little boy wants to be a firefighter for Halloween.

That’s precisely the problem. It can be hard to find the costume you want in their size if you get a late start.

I scoured the Internet for the perfect firefighter costume. I spent hours to find just the right one – one that had the same overalls and jackets as HFD.

I located it and had it shipped in time for trick or treating, barely.

Never mind that Kai initially said he didn’t want to dress up for Halloween after all that. I had to negotiate with him so he’d wear the costume I spent so long securing for the occasion.

This year, I’ve been trying to get an early feel for what my son and daughter want to be.

Of course, my son is 5 so he can change his mind daily. One day it’s a garbage truck driver. The next it’s a ninja.

I think I might be able to persuade my daughter to be a Disney princess. Last year, Tinkerbell was a cute but simple choice for Hana.

Is it wrong to want to steer them toward costumes that are readily available and easy to buy locally?

It would certainly take a load off to walk into, say, Pricebusters or Target and – presto! – find exactly what they want off the rack.

I envy creative parents who can whip up genius homemade costumes like the Hawaii Opera Theatre costume department. Here I am sweating over simply buying costumes.

The best homemade costume I could handle is the good ol’ cuts in an old sheet, instant ghost variety.

My assignment for the next week will be to nail down their costumes. To do that stress free and without unforeseen complications?

Now that would be a true treat!