Since my kids were old enough to have an opinion, I’ve always let them choose whatever ridiculous or boring Halloween costume they wanted to wear.

But it hasn’t always been easy.

This year, my 8-year-old chose to be a ninja again — for the third year in a row. When his costume came in the mail, I realized it was the exact same one he wore last year. There's a strong chance he's just using this as an opportunity to get me to buy new ninja swords each year.

If I chose what my boys were for Halloween, I'd like to think the costumes would be a little more creative — or at least different from year to year. With that being said, here are five Halloween costumes I wish my boys had worn over the years.

1. The 100-year-old version of themselves. How cute would it be to see two old-man brothers walking around with tiny little walkers? They could be “century twins.”

2. A washing machine and dryer. Have you seen these costumes online? They are made out of a white box with a tin circle for the front loading window and balled up clothes. They have empty laundry detergent bottles and dryer sheet boxes glued to the top. So cute!

3. Curious George and “The Man with the Yellow Hat.” We had a little infant monkey suit when the boys were little. How easy would it have been to buy a yellow hat, shirt and pants for the other? But this one is on me. I should have thought of it when they were babies and too little to have their own ideas.

4. Chess pieces. One could dress in all black and the other all in tan or khaki. Then they could wear a crown to be the kings on opposing chess teams.

5. Mario and Luigi from "Super Mario Brothers." OK, this one probably wouldn’t be that hard to convince them to do. Maybe we should shoot for it next year?

But the truth is, my oldest son is now in sixth grade. By small-town standards, this may be his last year trick-or-treating for Halloween. When I think about it, that actually makes me kind of sad. So for all you moms of young ones out there debating whether to let your kids choose their own Halloween costume, I say you pick costumes for them at least once. Hopefully the ideas above might be a good start.

For the moms feeling guilty because you didn’t let your kids pick their own costume — I say good job! They’ll have plenty of time to pick out their own Halloween costume when they’re older —  or, heck, maybe when they have their own kids one day.

Just enjoy having the final say while you still can.


Jenni DeWitt is married and has two sons, the youngest of whom battled childhood leukemia — and won. Jenni writes weekly for She is the author of "Forty Days" and "Why Won't God Talk to Me?" You can read more about Jenni here.

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