My mom made all my costumes.
Well, okay, there was the one year I went as a bride and she had to cut down the Southern Belle monstrosity we'd found hanging poofily at the thrift shop, but for the most part? I was an original.
I don't make all my kids costumes, though. Crafty skips generations (or so I'm finding) and they're still delighted with bits and pieces. Last year, I made my son's costume (he was a zombie) and bought a wee witch outfit for R. The year before, he was a Transformer and she was a purple cat. (I didn't get the purple paint out from under my nails for weeks!)
Tradition-wise, we've started them young (they both went out their first Halloween (in costumes) - Cass was 26 days old, and Rosey just a couple of weeks) taught them the old-school spooky thrill of scaring people, hammered into them (or at least I hope so) the importance of saying thank you when strangers give you candy, and set them free to run in the joyous gloom of Halloween night. We live in a rural enough area that the houses are in places few and far between, and we usually end up taking our car. Wherever the houses are closer, the kids (and I!) hop out, and they swoop through the dark, looking for the next house with a light on, while B trundles behind, headlights on low.
The kids also like telling spoooky stories after the great candy hunt with only the light from the fire......great for sound effects and grandiose gestures (with the occasional crackling noise from furtive wrappers) and hushed, quiet, cliff-hanger voices that grow LOUDER at plot points and character changes.
After Halloween we say goodbye to the pumpkins and the gourds and the crazy spiderwebs hung over everything, and the world looks stark and plain for a few days.
But the candy goes on and on....
click here to read about more of our traditions and hear about what candy will be at my house this year!