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Halloween 2021—And Halloweens Past

November 3, 2021

It’s Lucy as the Demogorgon from Stranger Things, and Ingrid as a S’more! There was some last-minute behind-the-scenes scrambling with Halloween this year. Lucy’s Demogorgon costume came together quite readily thanks to this video, but our original idea for Ingrid (to be a “light-up rainbow”) ran aground when we realized the electroluminescent wires we were using emitted an irritating high-pitched noise. The last-minute S’more idea was inspired, though, and Ingrid wears it well!

Here is Lucy enacting a Stranger Things battle scene with her friends Ella (as Eleven) and Aedan (as Dustin):

I love our little neighborhood, especially since there are so many children here. Here is Ingrid with our longtime friend Lucy D., dressed as what I guess I’d call a “meta-banana”:

Lucy’s 12 now. Ingrid’s 10. As autumn’s chill sets in, I wonder: how many more years of delightful Halloween costumes do we have ahead of us, before they get too cool for it and leave us behind to go to teenager parties? Don’t get me wrong: I’ll accept it when it comes! But I do sense the end of the “magic decade” is coming—if not next year, then soon. By which I mean, for the first ten years, it’s like as a parent you’ve swallowed a Super Mario Bros star, and even though obviously it can be difficult, there is a glow of wonder around everything. But soon Lucy and Ingrid will grow beyond me and Heather. And although that’s good in the long run, I will miss the intimacy of the past ten years—when it was as if the four of us and our little group of friends were our own little civilization, with its own rules.

In that nostalgic spirit, let’s revisit the costumes of previous Halloweens! Usually they are inspired by whatever we’ve been watching that year. Last year, Lucy and I watched Tron for the first time (Ingrid abstained), and we wondered, could a Tron costume be possible? This is where we first got the idea of making costumes using electroluminescent strips, and honestly, it wasn’t that hard!

As for Ingrid, she decided to be Mal from The Descendents. I can’t blame her—it’s a rather more contemporary reference!

The year before that, 2019, was the notorious year that it snowed on Halloween. But we didn’t let that get our spirits down. We all really enjoyed The Dark Crystal movie (and the Netflix series), so Lucy and I made matching Skeksis costumes:

Here are more looks at the Skeksis… with Ingrid as Gurgi from the “Chronicles of Prydain” (we had made a Black Cauldron movie for the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival that year):

The year before that, Ingrid was Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter and Lucy was a Jawa from Star Wars:

Speaking of Luna Lovegood, in 2016 we did a Harry Potter-themed Halloween party. I really loved throwing parties and having lots of people over. The pandemic has shut all that down, of course. The thought of having a party now . . . It sounds like the most marvelous luxury in the world!

I was Professor Snape, Heather was Professor Trelawny, Lucy was Hermione, and always-going-her-own-way Ingrid was a selkie (from the movie Song of the Sea):

It took so long to make all those floating candles, but it was worth it!

The year before that, I was Admiral Ackbar from Return of the Jedi:

That was when Lucy was Rey from Star Wars and Ingrid was a cat (a costume she had worn when we’d made a movie of My Father’s Dragon that year for the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival):



Mustn’t forget the year Lucy was a bee, Ingrid was a princess, and Heather was a clown (which was Heather admirably facing her fear; she hates clowns):

The year before that, Lucy and I were plantlike creatures, and Ingrid was a ballerina:

Going back even further, here’s when Lucy was Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Ingrid was a bunny:

Going back to what feels like the beginning of time, here’s when Lucy was an owl (when she was very young, our nickname for her was “Baby Owl”—full explanation here):

Thanks for taking this trip down Halloweens past with me. I’m going to miss this gang of kids. Indeed, I already do.