For almost their entire lives, the Milligan children have truly celebrated Halloween. Their mom, Maureen, is the family’s inspiration.
“We started when Connor was 2. He and his dad dressed as Mr. Incredible and Dash. I decided to dress them up because I figured he (her husband) was going to take Connor out trick or treating anyway, so why not dress up,” said Maureen.
Connor is now 12 years old. Besides his mom, Maureen, the rest of the family is Jeff, the dad; Riley, 11, Griffin, 9; and Brady, 8. They live in Brownes Ferry but trick or treat in the Providence Country Club neighborhood, where they have friends.
Maureen said that they usually decide as a family what they’ll all be for Halloween. “We go through a of couple of ideas. The costumes work together as a group but also to where they can be recognized by themselves. The year the boys were the chipmunks: Theodore, Simon, and Alvin, and Riley was Brittany (a girl chipmunk), no one really knew who she was by herself. Last year, when they were all from Harry Potter, it worked out really well.”
“I make some costumes. I go to Goodwill and cut up the stuff I buy there, but nothing fancy,” Maureen said. “I’m good with a hot glue gun.
“My husband is pretty game for dressing up every year. He definitely gets into it.” Maureen explained how her husband helps out with the costumes: “He had to go to the mall to the lingerie department to buy something for a costume, and he asked the saleswoman for some help. She said to him, ‘What size does your wife wear.’ He had no problem telling the women the lingerie was not for his wife!”
Connor said, “We like dressing up because it’s fun as a family. We get to trick or treat with our friends and with our family and usually we’re easily recognized. There’s not really any pressure to top our outfits from the years before. We do our own thing. People are just incredibly excited when they find out our new theme each year.”
“We usually have stuck a picture (of the family in costume) on the back of the Christmas card and get letters back from people asking me what we’re doing next year,” Maureen said. “I tell them I can’t plan that far ahead.”
When Maureen was pregnant with Brady, “I dressed my belly as a basketball with a hoop, and Jeff was a basketball player. Brady was an Oct. 23 baby.”
The theme in 2008 was “The Karate Kid.” The boys were the Cobra Kai gang. Jeff was Daniel LaRusso. Riley was a mermaid.
One year they were the gang from “Scooby Doo.” That year, Maureen found much of the costumes at Goodwill, but had to buy the actual Scooby Doo costume for Connor.
When the theme was the “Wizard of Oz,” Jeff was the Yellow Brick Road. They used an old Lay’s potato chip bag costume and outlined the bricks in black electrical tape.
The year everyone was a “Star Wars” character, Maureen found a gold jumpsuit at Marshalls, so she was C3PO.
They had thought about being the characters from “Gilligan’s Island” this year, but decided against it. Maureen said, “It’s difficult to dress up Connor as the Professor. If he’s by himself, he doesn’t look like he’s wearing a costume. It looks like he’s just wearing khakis and a shirt. Though we’re a team, people need to recognize who we are.”
This year, the family was busy planning “Addams Family” costumes. “We picked this theme because we’ll be spooky anyway, no matter who we are,” Maureen said. Mom will be Morticia, with dad as Gomez. Riley will be Wednesday. Connor’s costume is Uncle Fester. Griffin will be Cousin It; Brady will be Pugsley.
Lisa Daidone is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.