The actual Halloween date hasn’t even come and gone and we’re already trick-or-treat-ed out. The girls have gone to at least 3 Halloween celebrations each. Jamie has probably gone to four. But that’s okay, at least their costumes are put to good use.
And about that. The costumes. Over the last three years, Sam has gotten a pick of who she wants to be. Two years ago she asked to be a pirate, like her best friend Elie. They were pirate princesses together! Last year she wanted to be Woody of Toy Story. Not Jesse but Woody.
For Christmas, Sam received the gown of Merida from Brave as a gift, and I thought we could make it last through to Halloween. She wore it several times before then, but when I’d ask her if she’d wear it on Halloween, she said, “No, I want to be someone else.” Sam was taking her sweet time deciding on her costume, and I was feeling the pressure. I didn’t know if we’d find a good costume here, or if I could even make one! Oh goodness.
Meanwhile in little sister land, I wasn’t worrying. I figure Jamie could still wear one of Sam’s old costumes like she’s done in the past.
Then one weekend out of the blue, my husband and I decided to let the girls watch one of our favorite animated films, How to Train your Dragon.
We saw it once in the States and loved it that we just had to get a copy of the movie. If you haven’t seen it, I highly encourage you to do so too. It’s one of those all-time favorites.
Surprisingly, once the girls got over the first viewing scares and suspenses (there are fire-breathing dragons after all), they asked to watch it again. And again. And again!
Pretty soon we were watching it everyday, or every other day. The girls had the lines and actions of specific characters memorized. Jamie in particular had some lines memorized and she’d repeat them to me at random times of the day. She also would ask me questions about the movie. She seemed to take an uncanny interest in the characters and the plot.
One day at pick up from school, when the teachers handed out the memo for Let’s Pretend Week, Jamie’s teacher bent down to her and asked her what her costume was this year. Without blinking or looking at me, she said, “I’m going to be Astrid.”
“Who’s Astrid?” Her teacher asked, with a quick, amused glance at me.
“Astrid, the Viking girl from How to Train Your Dragon.” Jamie was convinced. She didn’t check with me, she didn’t break her teacher’s gaze. She just answered. And I must admit I was taken aback. I wasn’t prepared for Jamie to have an opinion about her costume this year. I had a pirate outfit she could have most definitely worn easily! Sam was three when she made her first costume choice… but I suppose because of school and her sister’s influence, Jamie acts a bit older than she really is.
Her teacher was quite amused at the determination and originality. I was in a panic. Where on earth will I get an Astrid costume?!
We got home and Jamie immediately told Sam the same thing. “Ate! I’m going to be Astrid!”
Sam replied, “That’s a GREAT IDEA Jamie! Mom! I want to be a Viking for Halloween!”
When it comes to my girls, there are certain things that I say no to. But clearly this was not one of them. Why didn’t I convince them to be something easier to source? I don’t know, it didn’t occur to me. Why would I do that? My girls love dressing up and playing pretend. I can’t bring myself to temper that. Besides, being a set of Vikings won’t hurt anyone. Maybe just my husband’s wallet, but for the sake of letting the kids be who they want to be, I’m sure it (he) can take it.
I scoured Amazon for Viking costume options, but there weren’t any for kids. The ones that were there were too big for Jamie, and didn’t look anything at all like Astrid. Also, it would cost an arm and a leg to ship it over this way, for maybe one wear. If Sam wore it, I wouldn’t worry so much because it could easily be handed down. But costumes for Jamie, we’d have to find someone who’d want to be a viking too at her age!
I was left with having something custom-made. I actually asked Kris of OcMom, as she has a talent for making costumes for her kids. “What?! Vikings?!” was her reply. Okay, maybe not. 😉
Thankfully, the superheroes (they really can do anything!) at our office found Sonia Lee’s Costume Central. They do custom-made costumes for kids! All we had to do was present our pegs. Sonia has been in the costume sourcing, making and renting business for the last five years, and for something that’s custom-made, I felt she priced it quite reasonably (I understand she needs to turn a profit as well, so even if it was a tad bit over my budget, I didn’t question it).
I trekked over with the kids one afternoon at the height of Manila traffic (ugh). They were troopers and sports because they knew they were going to get themselves fit for their costumes.
Jamie wasn’t shy about getting herself measured either. My usually shy-around-strangers daughter had no complaints about standing and talking to Sonia who took the time to fit them both. And she waited for her turn patiently.
Sam wanted to be Ruffnut, one of the trouble-making twins in the movie.
I asked Sam why Ruffnut was her costume of choice since I didn’t like her character too much (my issues, I know!), but Sam simply said it was because she wanted a costume without spikes and skulls. She liked what Ruffnut was wearing.
Sonia had the costumes ready in two weeks, just in time for the girls to fit once and get it altered. She also made boots for them to go over the girls’ shoes!
So what do you think? 😉
The girls were so excited to wear them and try them on, they didn’t want to take them off. It’s made well too. There’s nothing sharp or pointed sticking out and it’s comfortable. Sure, with the layering and the boots the pieces are a tad bit warm, but I haven’t heard a single complaint on discomfort from the girls.
We’ve had them wear it to practically every single Halloween party there is. So actually, if I depreciate the investment put into these two costumes by the number of times used (including the ones we’ve yet to go to, as Halloween isn’t over yet!), then it’s really not half bad at all! But really, their happiness alone is priceless.
I love it that the girls wear it gamely. They get compliments for it too. Those who know who these characters are think that they’re so cool to have picked this as a theme for the year. I certainly didn’t plant the seed in their heads; they thought of it all by themselves. Not many understand their choice or can recognize the costume as vikings (A warrior princess?!), but that’s okay. Sam and Jamie know who they are, they’re proud to wear their costumes, and that’s all that matters to me.
Happy Halloween folks! 😉 Trick-or-treat!