As with all holidays, everyone has a different outlook on Halloween, and a slightly different approach to participating (or not) in the festivities on the 31st of October. The basic aspects of the occasion, which pretty much everyone conforms to, are a) candy and b) some sort of costume. In general, I’d say I can categorize my immediate family into two major groups when it comes to the costume: the makers and the buyers. Makers, i.e. the feminine side of the family, will rummage through the back of the closet and throw together something creative and unique. Buyers, i.e. the guys, prefer to just head over to the party store and grab the first costume that catches their fancy. Being a maker, I simply cannot fathom why anyone would want to wear a mass-produced costume that thousands of other people will surely be sporting ON THE ONE DAY YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO CONFORM. But to each his own, I suppose.
Though I am mostly a maker, I must confess I have some buyer at heart. That is to say, I will create, but I prefer to do so with all new materials. After all, it is a special occasion, so why not splurge on a bunch of cute new accessories that will be so much fun to inaugurate on Halloween? Still, I prefer to buy real clothes and accessories, not costume pieces that some marketing department in a big skyscraper projected would be popular two years ahead of time. I feel that transforming regular clothes into a unique costume is what really makes my Halloween creative. Yes, in theory this could be done with old clothes…but I can never resist the urge to shop!
So my plan for this Halloween was to drop no cash at the costume store, but splurge on real clothes that would all come together to create a surreal costume. On Friday, I told my dad I wanted to go to the craft store to look for supplies for a Halloween costume. He supported me wholeheartedly. We hopped in the car, sat in traffic for a million hours, and arrived in the parking lot of Party City.
“This is a costume store,” I protested helplessly, but to no avail.
“You wanted to do your Halloween shopping, so here we are,” my dad said cheerfully. Ugh. Buyer. Disgusted, I trudged into the store. My dad insisted upon buying me a Greek goddess costume I didn’t want. I told him eleventeen times “I want to be unique. I don’t want anyone else to have the same costume as me.” But he just didn’t get it, and probably would have spent the $49.99 on the costume if I hadn’t gotten us out of that store at once. I swore to myself I would never return…
The next day I returned. My brother wanted to buy his costume, as buyers do, and I tagged along to see if there was anything of interest. I found a couple minor accessories, and some inspiration: I decided to be an ancient Egyptian goddess. My brother excitedly showed me a “Toga” he found in the costume aisle, but I turned up my nose. He just didn’t get it…buyer.
Finally I figured out the way to a buyer’s heart: the mention of saving money. Just because my dad is a buyer doesn’t mean he’s a frivolous one. When I uttered, “I want to buy clothes for my costume I can wear over and over again,” I instantly had full support, both from the buyer and the maker sides of the family. A generous grant was awarded to me, which I pocketed with a grin brighter than a jack-o-lantern. At last I was understood! (Sort of.)
Finally, on Sunday, my dreams came true. I spent all day shopping, without the influence of buyers pushing factory-made costumes at me. I flitted from an Indian boutique to the local craft store to some clothing stores by the mall. By mid-afternoon, my creative spirit was finally at rest. I had gathered the supplies to breathe life into this Egyptian goddess. And with the exception of a couple things, nothing came from the costume store.
Buyers will be buyers. Makers will be makers. And girls will be girls, I guess. All it takes to put me in a good mood is a weekend of successful shopping. And to put the cherry on top of this Halloween sundae, I got a chance to make some granola this weekend as well!
I knew I couldn’t call myself a food blogger if I didn’t at some point make pumpkin granola. And with Halloween fast approaching, now seemed like a perfect time to do it! Try snacking on this healthy delight, rather than candy. The granola is crunchy and satisfying, with just enough sweetness from the maple and pumpkin flavors. Pepitas add a seasonal crunch, and tart cranberries contrast with sweet golden raisins for more fun flavor. In the spirit of Halloween, I threw in some Reece’s peanut butter chips. Hey, they do have 3g of protein to the tablespoon!
Whether you’re a maker or a buyer, make this granola. It’s sure to please!