This is Halloween!

Halloween was a big deal in my family growing up. My Aunt Lisa used to tell me that it was her favorite holiday because it’s the one day a year when you can be anyone you want to be! She sent care packages to me during my college years around Halloween with popcorn and candy to share with my friends. My mom got a little creative each year by dressing up all four of us in handmade outfits that she created by sewing machine or repurposed from costumes tucked away in Grandma Berger’s attic.

The last time that Derek and I dressed up together was for New Buffalo’s Spirit Days during Homecoming Week and the CAPS Superhero 5K race when we ran as Batman and Robin in 2015. We decided to bring back the tradition this year because of our Monday game nights with the Northwest Indiana Board Game Association which meets on Halloween this year since 10/31 falls on a Monday.

Since we are dressing up for the board game club on Halloween, Derek wanted to become a game himself so chose to be Tetris! We’ve played lots of polyomino board games that have “Tetrisy” themes like Blokus, Project L, Isle of Cats, New York Zoo, and Cartographers, just to name a few. These are some of my favorite games to play because I was a big Tetris fan as a kid and I like games that challenge me to fit a puzzle together on the game board.

We started by making his hat out of recycled cardboard and duct tape to form a Tetris piece floating in the air. The game board was a solid black T-Shirt that we pieced together with strips of duct tape outlined in black sharpie to represent Tetris shapes in red, yellow, blue, and lime green. I was so happy recreating this puzzle that Derek had to remind me that there couldn’t be a complete row of squares anywhere on the shirt or it would have been cleared in the game of Tetris so we made sure to stack the pieces in obscure places as if running out of time! Sprout made herself useful by pouncing on the shapes as we taped them to the shirt.

I myself have become reacquainted with Star Wars after watching the Mandalorian and falling in love with little Grogu (Baby Yoda). I’ve been rewatching the Star Wars movies in timeline order over the past few months with the last films starring the main character Rey Skywalker, the last Jedi, who became the apprentice of General Leia Organa (Princess Leia) by fighting with the Resistance against the Dark Side, also known as the First Order.

For the skywalker costume, I wore a white long-sleeve shirt and brown sweatpants that I rolled up to my knees with my ankle boots. The sash was made from 2 ½ yards of tan fabric cut in half lengthwise from the clearance section of Hobby Lobby that I stitched together as one long piece. I put clear rubber bands around the fabric of my shoulders when crisscrossing the sash across my chest and turned one of my belts inside out so that it was plain brown to hold it all together. There is a bandage wrapped around my upper arm that I acquired from breaking my hand last year! The staff is a recycled tube from Christmas wrapping paper to fight off my enemies because I didn’t have enough time to create my own lightsaber. My favorite part of being Rey is definitely the triple-bun masterpiece that adorns my head. May the Force Be With You! 

I think we make a good duo for board game night even if we don’t match each other thematically. With all the magic and mystery in the air, Halloween is a night when anything is possible and fantasy comes to life. This to me is what Halloween is all about. Boardgamers unite!

Above: Rey Skywalker uses the Force to spar in a friendly game of Tetris.

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