After last year's unprecedented (and never to be repeated) homemade Halloween costume for Archer, we've reverted to our costume norm: whatever appropriately-sized dress-up clothes come close enough to our greedy hands to be snagged.
We've managed to convince Cady Gray that she really wants to be a spider. What necessitated such brainwashing? A local Freecycler offered a 3T-4T sized spider costume for giveaway.
Archer was tougher, since he's unlikely to come up with any character ideas on his own, and since we didn't come across any likely cast-offs hanging over the edge of nearby dumpsters. Finally Noel took him to a Halloween shop that's opened up in empty retail space across town, and they settled on an astronaut jumpsuit.
On the same trip, Noel picked up a rubber dog mask for himself. We're going to a Halloween party thrown by friends next weekend, and these are friends who take Halloween very seriously. Adults who show up without costumes are forced to wear whatever is offered them when they walk in the door; last year Noel and I ended up with Thing 1 and Thing 2 wigs. The dog mask is an attempt to head the hosts off at the pass. I have neither spare energy nor shopping time to do likewise. Probably that is legally equivalent to consent to be photographed in a Viking helmet with attached Nordic braids, or whatever my punishment will be for not playing along.
I can't remember having many definite ideas for Halloween costumes when I was a kid. Thanks to various costumes produced for school plays, I was a dinosaur once (my tail, which was tied around my waist under the costume, attached through slits in the back, got stepped on and ripped off) and a witch more than once (when you've got the big hat, it's secure fallback position). My older brother tended to wear his PeeWee football uniform for a no-effort costume. A store-bought Casper The Friendly Ghost mask topped many a sheet, many a year. I'm probably blocking out some hugely elaborate outfit my mom spent hours and hours on, but my memory is that I'm carrying on the family tradition when I worry as little as possible about what the kids are going to wear on Halloween.