Halloween Guide for Lazy Parents


Halloween Guide for Lazy Parents I love holidays, I really do. And I fully respect those of you who go all out for the sake of a costume or Halloween decor, and if that is you, this post will be mildly frustrating for you. That’s ok though, because this post is for all the non-committal/busy/stressed-out parents out there who want to a) help their families enjoy an experience b) participate in the fun and c) maintain some sanity. I like to call it lazy effort.

Costumes for Kids

I grew up in a time where a store-bought costume was unfathomable, so I was firmly in the camp of repurposing mom’s clothes or using items from around the house. Costumes were free, borrowed, or crafted. We live in a new era now where Spirit Halloween stores pop up faster than a Dollar General and then vanish into the night on November 1 or where craftier moms spend countless hours sewing and creating just the right thing (at least that’s how it seems to this lazy bones).

My kids are 18 months apart, so they have spent quite a bit of time in matchy costumes. I certainly am happy to let them choose, but we’ve gotten by with many years of matching themed costumes that don’t require much fuss. I should also state at this point that I love a good thrift store, so this can be cheap and simple if you know what you’re looking for!

Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader

Luke’s ensemble was a thrifted karate uniform that I dyed with tea bags to make it dingy. Darth had a long sleeved Darth Vader t-shirt, with an old black cape of some kind. Lightsabers came from a birthday party some months before.

Mario and Luigi

Green and red t-shirts from Walmart, overalls, and cheap hats off Amazon. Black marker mustache and done! Plus kids in overalls…come on!

Football player and mascot

Auburn apparel is not hard to find with this family of Tiger fans — we have several sources of hand-me-downs. The Aubie costume was given to me in a garbage bag of kids’ clothes and the auburn jersey was a thrift store find!

Spongebob and Patrick

Last year, the boys wanted to be Spongebob and Patrick but without all the fanfare. It was a weird year because of COVID, so the Halloween festivities were at a minimum in general. I bought character shirts on Amazon, and they wore shorts they already had. And bonus, they wore the shirts all year.

Charlie Brown and Linus Van Pelt

This year, they’ve chosen Charlie Brown and Linus, which literally just requires a shirt for each of them. Honestly, I’m still trying to decide whether to order $5-10 shirts off of Amazon or get crafty and make/find them myself.

Costumes for Adults

My husband hates costumes. He is the laziest costume wearer of them all, but if I play my cards right, I can have him participate with me (although he will not pose for a picture, so there’s no evidence). Costumes must be regular clothes and not embarrassing, which isn’t always easy to find. 

Young Santa and Mrs. Claus

It helps that my husband is hoping to be Santa in his retirement years, but this was an easy one. Red sweatshirt for him, red dress and apron for me. Throw on a Santa hat and call it a day.

Flo from Progressive and Jake from State Farm

White apron, blue headband, and red lipstick for me, and a red polo and name tag for him. Done.

Care Bears

Ok, I actually spent a little time on this one. I bought two hoodies — one pink and one ble — and made Care Bear patches out of felt to hot glue on the front belly. Each of us also had a tiny red heart on the backside as well. He was Grumpy Bear and I was Love-a-Lot Bear, in part because of our dispositions, and in part because they had the easiest designs. Directions for this easy no-sew project here!

Mr. and Mrs. Incredible

Enter the costume t-shirt once again to save the day (how I can sing its praises!). It doesn’t hurt that we could pass for these characters in regular clothes, but throw on that logo, and it’s an instant costume. 

Trunk or Treat Ideas

This idea of allowing kids to “trick or treat” in a controlled, safe environment is a fairly new thing in my life (I will spare you the “back in the day” thoughts). They are easy ways to get candy and hang out with friends, but they don’t happen on their own and someone has to volunteer to decorate their trunk. I do know that kids don’t care what the theme is as long as you have candy, but I put in a little bit of lazy effort because sometimes there’s a prize for most creative trunk (and your lazy girl here loves to win).

Decorate for Christmas

Pull out the Christmas decor early and decorate that trunk. I’m talking garland, mini trees, all the figurines and stockings. Blast your Christmas music, sing your carols. It’s never too early!

Fall Harvest

Grab a bale of hay and a few pumpkins, dress up as a scarecrow and set yourself up right for the season.


Set up a few sleeping bags, maybe a tent and a lantern. Perfect for the season!

Laziest idea ever

The year our boys dressed as Mario and Luigi, we brought a TV, set it up in the back of our car, and played Mario Kart with our backs to everyone. We put a TV tray out with a bowl of candy. And a sign that said take one piece. Then we ignored everyone and played video games.

Celebrating at Home!

If COVID or other reasons are keeping you home this year, that’s perfectly understandable! What’s not to love about a bonfire and s’mores? We also celebrate all month long with our favorite Halloween-inspired movies — it doesn’t get much lazier than a Friday night movie in our pjs! Some personal favorites in my house? So glad you asked!

Hocus Pocus

Haunted Mansion (there’s a new Muppet version out this year that’s super fun!)

Addams Family series (try the old live-action ones for a throwback!)

Hotel Transylvania series


…and more as the kids get older (Beetlejuice, The Goonies, Ghostbusters, etc.)!

I’m quick to brag about these small tricks and tips because it’s hard to fight the feeling of needing to go big in the name of providing for the kiddos. Trust me, you won’t find a lazier holiday mom than this one right here. Low key is the name of the game in my house, and we all enjoy the seasons with less mess and stress!