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Halloween crafting fail can turn into a family time win

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Mike Spencer/The Star-News/AP

(Read caption) 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.

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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.)  

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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, 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!) 

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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.