While there are some folks out there who just live for Halloween and all its shrieking bells and twisted whistles, not everyone is Jack the Pumpkin King or Michael Myers at heart… thank god! (Imagine what that would look like?)

If you haven’t managed to plan your Halloween fun yet, then read on as the Nation is once again rolling out its totally frightening, horrifyingly spooky, downright ridiculous, slightly insulting and most likely half-assed Halloween costume and decor guide.

Last minute costume ideas for little people

While most school-aged children generally know or have an idea as to who or what they want to masquerade as for the big day, it’s dressing up the wee ones that can be a bit more of a challenge.

TV and the Movies

If your little girl is a big Dora the Explorer fan, why not dress her up as that. Some orange pants or a skirt with warm leggings under it, a pink t-shirt, white sneakers and a black Cleopatra wig is all this costume will require and her little pals will all know who she is.

For the little lads, Dora’s male spin-off counterpart, Diego from Go Diego Go, is also a cheap and easy costume. To dress your little tyke up as this animal-saving adventurer, all that is needed is dark-blue pants or shorts with long johns under them, a light-blue shirt, a beige vest, an orange over the shoulder bag and black shoes. Diego’s vest can even be made more to look like the one on the cartoon by simply drawing a pocket on the left side and a circular decal on the right with markers.

Of course, if your little guy is more of an Alvin and the Chipmunks fan, an Alvin, Simon or Theodore costume can easily be fashioned out of an adult’s or older child’s large, long-sleeve shirt. This costume is great in the sense that lots of warm gear can fit under it and if you are really pressed for time the capital A, S or T can be fashioned out of yellow duct tape so that the shirt can be worn again. Add a matching baseball cap and voila, instant chipmunk!

If your lass is a big fan of Barbie, a blond wig and a lot of creativity can go a long way. Any pretty pink dress or even a pink jogging suit with lots of Barbie-like blue eye shadow, pink lipstick and just about any style of long blond wig can make for a quick and easy Barbie costume. If she is really a big fan, she will get a lot of use out of the blond wig for sometime to come.

Cheap and Creative Costumes for Everyone

Doing something funny is about the best way to make up for lack of time and effort which is why these easy costume ideas might seem a bit lame but could garner a couple of chuckles.

– You can wear anything you want and attach a doll to the seat of your pants to become a babysitter.

– The gents can glue candy all over themselves to become sugar daddies.

-Anyone can dress completely in pink with a shoe on your head or attached to your outfit to be gum stuck to your shoe.

– Conversely, using the same pink outfit and swapping the shoe for a name tag on your chest that says Floyd will make an instant Pink Floyd costume.

– Cut arm and leg holes in a large clear plastic bag and fill it with multi-coloured balloons to create a bag of jelly beans costume.

– Safety pin a bunch of cheap watches and old jewelry to the inside of your coat to go as a con artist.

– Cut a hole in a white sheet, paint your face white and wear a yellow toque to make an instant fried-egg costume.

– If you have an old formal dress or bridesmaid gown, pick up a white sash or make one out of whatever you have and add a cheap Dollar-Store crown to become “Miss Universe.” You don’t have to limit yourself to “Universe”; Miss Canada, Miss Cree Nation, Miss Val D’Or or even Mademoiselle Quebec could be just as easily done.

– A black sweatsuit with either Barbie or Ken dolls glued or attached to it can instantly turn any guy or gal into a Babe magnet.

– Glue single-serving-sized cereal boxes to any outfit and wander around with a (hopefully) plastic knife to become an instant Cereal Killer.

– For a heavy guy with a sense of humour, become a “Recovering Anorexic” by writing exactly that on a plain t-shirt.

Going Political

As politics are on the minds of just about everyone these days, the following costumes could be a real hit at your Halloween Bash!

– If you already have short grey hair and just so happen to have a wretched sweater vest handy, voilà, instant Stephen Harper.

– Dress in a business suit for a man or a power pants-suit for a woman and wander about with a stern, almost robotic look on your face while saying “No,” and “I am sorry but we just do not have the funding for that endeavour at this time,” to be a representative from Indian and Northern Affairs.

– For the ladies (and incredibly brave men who are comfortable with their sexuality) why not go as the political gal everyone is talking about these days, Alaska’s own Vice Presidential hopeful, Sarah Palin! All you need are a pair of rectangular glasses, a brown wig (if your hair is not long enough), a neat little black, red or pink lady’s business suit and, of course, lipstick and you too can be Palin just so long as you remember a couple of key phrases, such as “Drill Baby, Drill,” “Maverick” and “I may not answer the questions the way you or the moderator want…”

Haunting up your House

If you are into home decorating, Halloween is the time to shine when it comes to tricking out the lawn and treating yourself to the kind of silly scariness that is synonymous with this time of year.

As nothing is much spookier at Halloween than a graveyard, why not add a few tombstones to your front yard. Tombstones can be made from Styrofoam or wood and then painted white, grey or black. Adding a few old-school-style crosses fashioned from two boards will also add to the graveyard and they are easier to make. For those who don’t want their graveyard to be so grim, instead of adding names to the crosses, go with other things that are dead, such as “Disco 1972-1979,” “MC Hammer Pants 1990-1992,” or “Affordable Gasoline 1974-2007”.

Another cheap and amusing way to give the exterior of your home a creepy feel is to go for Wicked Witch of the East legs. All you need are some striped socks stuffed with newspaper, some plastic flowers around them near the edge of your house. If you are really morbid, you could add a few smaller sets of socks with tiny shoes for the few random munchkins that the house might have hit accidentally.

As the party will be happening inside rather than outside, it’s easy to get creative when it comes to decorating indoors.

If you can come by small plastic skeletons or plastic bugs such as spiders easily and you just so happen to have quasi-translucent ceiling lamp covers in your home, why not put the skeletons and the bugs behind the lamp covers for a spooky effect. Even lamp shades can be tricked out with cut-out bats placed on the inside of the shade for quick and simple bat shades.

Either indoors or out, acorn squash cats are a cute and simple way to decorate and the kids can even help out with this one. Simply turn the acorn on its side so that the point becomes the nose and paint the squashes black. Fashion ears, whiskers, eyes, noses and tails from black, white and pink construction paper and affix them to the squashes with glitter glue to create some scary, spooky or outright silly craft kitties.

As black-and-orange streamers are synonymous with Halloween parties and fun, why not try this Martha Stewart suggestion — bat garlands. Though Stewart is no stranger to scary situations perhaps her jail-life experience has only perfected her flair for Halloween. All this fun decor project requires is black tissue paper, scissors, a bat cut-out and tape. Trace or draw the bat cut-out design across the full width of a package of folded tissue paper. Cut along the outline leaving a bit of uncut area at the end of each wing. Unfold, tape together and drapethe garland across the mantle, along door frames, across windows or anywhere else they might seem spooky.

Whatever your plans are for this celebrated spooky season, Halloween is one of those few pressure-free holidays — if you can call it that — and the object of the day is to have fun. Fun for everyone however should not come at the cost of another individual. If you are going out to a grown-up party, don’t drink and drive. And if you are going to wear a costume that involves a prop weapon, make sure that it’s just that as weapons or sharp objects and tomfooleries simply don’t mix.

Also, for the little ones, make sure that their costumes are not too restrictive and remember that face paint is always a better option than a mask that can obstruct breathing. Make sure that your child’s accessories are also flexible should they trip or fall on the item. For the sake of their own health and habits, despite the fact that kids may come home with an endless supply of candy, remind them that moderation still applies and that too much of any good thing can still be bad for them.

Happy Halloween!