Parenting

Scary Halloween costume prices

Thursday, April 01, 2010
Erins little girl

Sienna hanging out. (WPVI Photo)

Saturday is a big day. It is our first Halloween with little Sienna. She just turned three months old; needless to say we probably won't be trick or treating unless of course our neighbors will be handing out chocolate Similac (kidding). But we did want to get in the spirit of things and dress up the little munchkin.

We tossed around several costume ideas and came up with everything from a mini pumpkin to a pea in the pod. I started an internet search for "baby Halloween costumes". I think we can all safely eliminate any doubt that teams of researchers haven't spent years shrinking every possible costume into infant appropriate measurements.

My husband and I found our favorite costume. It was called "little angel". It was adorable. All white, complete with little wings and a tiny halo. After all, she is our little angel! This may sound a bit dramatic but I really had my heart set on it. The material was all cotton and appeared to be very soft which is important because a baby's skin is so sensitive. The problem was the price was adult sized. This angel costume cost a devilish seventy dollars! Then again, this costume was really, really cute and I had already envisioned it as the PERFECT choice. Then reality set in and I thought of all 70 dollars could pay for: a few hundred diapers, three big containers of formula, a handful of educational DVD's, or even a couple of swim lessons in a few months. Plus, Sienna would wear this just once, perhaps even just one hour. I mean how comfortable would that halo be on her? I thought about making an angel costume but then my husband reminded me, I don't sew. So, the angel costume would have to be out.

I know it sounds silly but I was really disappointed. Sienna is our first child and I was looking forward to dressing her up in that costume. Maybe before she was born, I would have splurged on a costume like that for our nieces or nephews, but when you have a new baby and a future to plan for you have to make a lot of choices. I thought if I was disappointed; imagine Sienna at age five receiving the news that she would have to pick an alternate Halloween costume.

It was a good lesson. Every year the holidays are filled with temptations, from Halloween costumes to Christmas presents. All those "little splurges" add up. Our child's eyes and often our eyes are bigger than our wallets. It's a difficult concept to explain to a little one and it's difficult even as an adult to remember just how important a concept it is; especially when you want to give your child everything. Even with the economy tanking over the last few years marketing geniuses continue to convince us that maybe we don't NEED that seventy dollar Halloween costume but it sure is more fun.

Well, not necessarily. I ended up finding an adorable "Supergirl" costume for 14 dollars. Not super cheap for a one-time -wear outfit either but it sure beat 70 dollars. It took a little searching and some compromising but it's all cotton so it's just as comfortable on her skin. More importantly, I realized Sienna won't look any less cute in a 14 dollar outfit than she would dressed in a 70 dollar costume, but both she and her mother will sure look a lot smarter.

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parenting - erin o'hearn, parenting, erin o'hearn
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