Creating Costumes and Making Memories

This week, as we remember All Souls Day and All Saints Day, we contemplate the journey to our eternal home in heaven and those souls who have gone before us.

This article first appeared here, on All You Who Hope. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

By: Karey Nobles, Guest Contributor

I love making costumes. I like sorting out who my kids want to be… the creativity of sewing, gluing, painting, taping… seeing my children’s faces light up when they put on the finished product.

What I don’t love is the process of finding the time to make them and getting myself sufficiently motivated to do so. Take this year, for example. Time is running out and not one costume has been completed. It’s as if I didn’t know the dates of Halloween and All Saints
Day all year long.

Despite the stress it brings, I do it not only because I love it once I eventually get started, but also because of my own wonderful childhood memories. My parents made costumes for my sisters and me when we were kids. My mom was great at finding pieces at the local Salvation Army, while my dad created from cardboard, foil, or paper mache.

I loved those costumes and the memories we made with them. And while my kids would be just as happy with ones bought at the store (which would also probably cost less!), I feel some kind of duty to carry that torch.

They’re not perfect by any stretch. I don’t follow patterns, I sometimes glue when something should be sewn, and I try to use what we have around the house. And that can be part of the fun. Especially when making costumes for All Saints Day.

Have an old brown t-shirt? You’re half-way to being St. Teresa of Avila. A dress-up doctor’s coat and stethoscope? Have your child hold a baby doll and you have your very own St. Gianna. Have some cardboard you can put to use? Cut out some armor and there’s a whole slew of saints you can choose from.

We’ve gone with my children’s patron saints in the past. My oldest, Clara, was first St. Clare of Assisi when she was three, and she still uses it for her feast day.

The costume might get a bit shorter (I know, nuns don’t usually show their knees!), but in many cases you should be able to get a few years out of them. Especially if your chosen saint wears a flowing robe.

I copied a prayer card image of St. Maximilian Kolbe when putting together my son Luke Kolbe’s costume, which is made almost entirely of Goodwill finds. And those blue stripes on his shirt? Painter’s tape.

My little St. Therese – otherwise known as Esther – wore an old tank top of mine, along with various pieces of white and black fabric I had in my stash. I did make her a cross and roses out of felt, but you could also use silk roses and a real crucifix.

One of these years I’ll get my act together and not wait until the last minute. Or I’ll encourage my kids to dress up as saints for Halloween. Or find a costume that can transition from secular to saint overnight.

But sometimes they have their hearts set on being Thomas the Train and a ladybug, and you make it happen. And maybe, just maybe, they’ll be so appreciative they’ll share some of their candy with you.

Karey Nobles is a wife and mother of three children, two adopted and one biological. Her blog, All You Who Hope, has gained national attention for its contribution to the conversation to the physical and spiritual trials of infertility as well as hope and trust in God’s loving plan. See more of Karey’s photography here. The Nobles are parishioners at St. Leo’s Catholic Church, in Fairfax.

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