Each year Halloween in Spain is more universally celebrated with not just parties at certain bars, but even schools and town halls now organize activities. Here's how we celebrated the last few Halloweens here.
One of the wonderful things about having had my son is that it has given me a new excuse to bring out my inner child and be crafty again. I have always loved Halloween and the dress-up that goes with it. In fact, it is something that I probably will never outgrow. Even more fun than dressing up, though, is the planning and making of a Halloween costume; at least, for me, it is. 🙂
Having moved to Spain, of course, meant that Halloween, and all of the fun that came with it, disappeared from my life for awhile… or so, I thought.
Over the last few years Halloween is actually gaining popularity. Each year you can find more Halloween costumes and decor available in stores. In fact, last year I even started to see trick-or-treat-ers. (Or should I say “truck-o-trato”-ers? Hmmmm)
Adding to the fun was the fact that my best friend here in Spain is co-owner of a local nursery school, and who just happens to be another one of the co-owners? Another American.
Years ago they brought me in to help celebrate Halloween with them. I grew jack-o-lantern pumpkins in my garden and carved a few to bring to the school. We also baked and decorated Halloween cookies. Everybody got into the spirit of things, and it was a lot of fun.
Then, I had my baby boy!!
Having been born in September, he arrived just in time to celebrate his first Halloween. He roared it in with a lion costume that his mommy made for him out of two polar fleece blankets. (Polar fleece is wonderfully forgiving for sewing when you don't know what you are doing (like me!). It stretches to fit, when needed, and it doesn't unravel; so, you can leave your edges unfinished!)
The next year, was probably my favorite thus far. My friend was excited to make herself a Batgirl costume, and came to me for some crafty help with its construction. I decided that as long as we were going to make her costume, that my son and I might as well make some to go with the theme too.
Looking for Batgirl costume ideas, I noticed that there were now girl versions of a lot of the superheroes. One whose colors I particularly liked was Robin's suit. The girl version costume, though, like most of the other superhero costumes, was a tad bit slutty and a bit too “minimalistic” for a children's Halloween party (or for my taste, for that matter). One of the advantages of making one's own costume is that it can be made to suit your own taste. So, I proceeded to design my own version of Robin Girl.
If we were going to be Batgirl and Robin, we, of course, were going to need a cute little Batman to accompany us.
Looking at the Batman and Robin costumes, I decided that I liked the vintage Batman and Robin the best. Modern batman costumes are all black and just seem to be missing something. To top it off, the only thing that really distinguishes them is the Batman mask that I knew my son would never wear anyway. (I did make him one for his costume, just in case, but it never got worn.)
So we proceeded to cut out our masks, make stencils for painting on our respective logos, and looking for inexpensive clothing for our costumes. I bought myself a cheap red t-shirt and proceeded to cut off the arms to make room for the green Robin sleeves. I had a hard time finding myself any green fabric that would work for the sleeves and skirt, though. You see, being crafty here in Spain can be a bit of a challenge. It's not like I can just head off to the nearest Michael's or JoAnn Crafts to pick up whatever it is I need.
I did have a little streak of luck, though, and found a table at the flea market that had new t-shirts for 1 Euro each, and they just happened to have a couple of shirts in the green that I wanted for my costume. I bought a couple, and cut off the bottom part of one and sewed it to bottom of the red shirt to make my skirt. Then I cut off the sleeves of a long-sleeved shirt and used the top of the sleeves for new sleeves for my dress, and used the bottom parts for my superhero gloves. It was actually quite easy to make the dress.
There was another table at the flea market selling basic colored cotton cloths, so I bought some yellow fabric for my cape and all of our belts. My friendworked on pleating our capes while I sewed the edges with my serger and sewed up the belts.
My son's costume used some old grey tights that somebody had, luckily, just given us. I also had some gray, plain t-shirts that I had bought to decorate for him, so I used one of those for the suit.
Even luckier was the fact that I had an old, blue polar fleece blanket stashed away that I had already started to cut up to make my son a swaddling blanket when he was a baby. With the leftover fabric, I had just enough to make him the rest of his costume, including his blue cape, gloves (in this case sleeves) and boots, which were just “sleeves” to put over his regular shoes.
We painted on our respective logos with fabric paint, using the freezer paper stencils we had cut, and were ready for Halloween with plenty of time to spare.
That gave me time to look for Halloween food ideas on Pinterest. I wasn't in the mood to make my usual Halloween cookies, so I wanted to find something less time consuming, but just as fun and a bit healthier, I think. (Baby steps!!)
I settled on making a “pumpkin” cheese ball, and ham “face.” The ham face is the perfect mix of Yum! and Yuck! at the same time!!
Everybody loved the party!
Now that my son has started “real” school this year, I don't know if we'll have to opportunity to participate in any fun Halloween parties. Hopefully, the popularity of the holiday will grow in time to let him do some trick-or-treating, something his mommy always loved.
As for the candy?
My mom always had to throw out the candy from the year before when it was time to go trick-or-treating again; you see I loved the activity and not the “prize.” Hopefully my son will be the same way!!
Shouting out an early Happy Halloween to all who love to celebrate, no matter where on the globe you reside!!