Halloween – My Favorite Holiday!

       Gwen Dandridge


 The Stone Lions


The Dragons’ Chosen

Halloween used to be my favorite holiday. When you have kids, the holidays take on a life of themselves, morphing into some other worldly sucker-up of time and energy. Halloween  was the best, I could let loose all my creative instincts and cheaply.


A couple of us in our neighborhood designed and built costumes, each of us trying to outdo the other. I was single then and living on the east coast: working part time, going to school part time and broke.


The end of October there was often chilly. Some of my first designs involve creating structures in which to place a child rather than dressing my children up in store bought outfits.

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One year I built a model T car out of boxes. One year it was a paper mache and chicken wire horse based on Camelot stage production that I had seen. Adding a pointed hat with a little flowing gauzy material and we had a horse riding princess. During a warm snap, I dressed my daughter, Laurel, up in green tights, a leotard and topped that with a headdress of large, stiff paper petals around her head. She made a great flower.


The very best costume was a three kid dragon. Doing the horse has taught me the ways around chicken wire and paper mache, I created a huge dragon head and then built a body. My mother sewed me a long thick tail out of some fake leather material I had in my basement. A long row of dragon spines, stiff paper, embellished  the spine from head to his pointed ended tail. It was a great success. Three kids wandered our quiet neighbor linked together under a green dragon.

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Soon after that my kids started making their own costumes and I was out of work as a costume designer. Now a zillion years later those very skills are used to make elaborate piñatas for my grandchildren. As I’ve often heard, all skills are transferable! And in this case it’s been very true.




Visit Gwen Dandridge at her website

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One response to “Halloween – My Favorite Holiday!”

  1. Gwen Dandridge says:

    Thanks for posting this! You have such a fun, dynamic blog.

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