Halloween crafting fail can turn into a family time win

Not all parents are crafty when it comes to creating Halloween costumes, but the most important part of building a costume is the creativity we share with our kids. One mom's Pinterest fail is another mom's quality time with her kid.

Mike Spencer/The Star-News/AP
Ean DeLooze, 6, dons his robot costume at the annual Halloween celebration at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher in Kure Beach, N.C. on Thursday, Oct. 23.

I’ll be honest. Halloween is not my favorite holiday. When I think of what the world needs more of, scaring strangers and loved ones, awful puns, ingesting pounds of processed sugar, and being surrounded by eyebrow-raising costumes for little girls are a few things that are not high on my list.

In addition, with each Halloween that passes and each costume request that I attempt to make/create/assemble, I learn that the difference between creative and crafty is a surprisingly wide chasm that I have no business trying to traverse. (Hint: A successful bear costume falls much more in favor of the cratftily-inclined.)  

As a way to make myself feel better for the fact that everything I build, cook, or hot glue together could be the lead story at www.pinterestfail.com, I remind myself of Einstein’s famous quote, “Imagination is more important than making a Halloween decoration that does not look like it snuck into the dryer while you weren’t looking.”  (I’m kidding – of course I don’t own a hot glue gun!) 

The good news is, most kids don’t care how close to Pinterest your attempts turn out, and although it may not always seem like it, they also aren't going to judge your love for them based on how much money you spend on a Halloween costume. 

As it turns out, one of my new favorite activities is scouring the house, basement, yard, and friends’ giveaway piles with my 6-year-old son and asking, “How can we use this?” or finding a treasure with an excited, “Ooooh, this would be perfect!”

Creatively-inclined or not, the truth is that everyone has an innate desire to create. Whether the final product is a story, a picture, a Lego tower, or a piece of music, creating is energizing and thrilling at any age. Sure, we may be using cardboard sticks from shoebox packing materials, aluminum foil from the kitchen, and dryer vents from the basement, but working on our “Binary-Code Robot” costume this year, my son gets so excited about brainstorming and seeing our ideas come together, he periodically rolls around on the floor, squealing, “This is the best thing ever!!” 

Will the costume, in fact, be “the best thing ever”? Time will tell … but, no. Of course it won’t be, no matter how many spray paint fumes I inhale. It’s far more likely to quietly join the solemn morgue of other disastrous costumes of Halloween past. 

However, the joy that we've shared while creating something, working together to solve problems, asking around for friends’ help and input, and the time we've spent sitting on the kitchen floor throwing around goofy ideas and seeing our project come to fruition? That is high on the list of best things ever.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Halloween crafting fail can turn into a family time win
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today