The Costume I Hated Most as a Child

Back when I was eight years old my mom made a Halloween costume for me. She was very creative and very capable with a sewing machine, so she chose a costume for me. I remember her working on the costume for weeks, and I also remember how happy she was about making it for me.

The problem was, she never asked me if I wanted this particular costume. And, I didn't. What was the costume? A Christmas tree.

Christmas Tree Costume

Now that I'm all grown up I can admit that the costume was clever. I remember almost everything about it. The tree itself was made of a silky polyester that was soft to the touch. The two bottom sections of the costume were made like a skirt where they cinched tight at my body but flared out at the bottoms, just like a real tree.

The red balls were wrapped in red thread. The reason I remember that fact so clearly is because the thread snagged on the silver tinsel and started coming off. After wearing the costume for a while each ornament looked like it had a small red dust bunny clinging to it.

The top of the tree was the cleverest part of the costume in my opinion. Notice how the top is pointy? My mom achieved this look by making a cone made of poster board paper to go under the top piece of material.

Originally the face hole was covered in cheese cloth so that no one could see my face, but I tore that out as soon as I could. Let's be honest, it's bad enough having to wear a Christmas tree outfit on Halloween, but having my face covered with cheese cloth was more than I could bear.

The picture above is from the parade I was in at school. Way back in the 70s, and possibly the 80s, kids were allowed to wear costumes to school. In fact, we were encouraged to do so. Every year we had a parade around the school and neighborhood to show off our costumes to the parents and people of our community.

Do you think I look happy with my costume? I assure you I wasn't! I hated every minute of having to wear that silly tree. But, now that many decades have passed, I can look back at this moment with fondness and appreciation for what my mom did.


  1. That’s a riot!! Just last month while visiting my folks we dug out some old family photos and there’s one of my siblings and I in our Halloween costumes. It had to be from the 70s. Every year we’d take a photo with my parents’ friends kids (they were like cousins to us) so there would be 8 of us in the picture. This time, we’d just moved to Colorado so it was just the four of us.

    I think my face looks just like yours in that photo but I had nothing to complain about. I was a fortune teller – not a tree (and I think that costume is cute but I can see how it might not be the most popular idea for Halloween…). Maybe I was at that age where I was tired of trick or treating with my little brothers and sister. ; )

    Love the photo!