DSC08076I was so happy when our daughter came back from an event on Saturday and announced that she had won first prize for her Halloween costume.  Why was I so happy about that?  Because she sewed the costume herself (with the help of her sewing teacher), which was part of the reason she won. We have always made our own Halloween costumes.  "We" has meant "me" when the children were smaller; although I also remember my husband getting involved.  When our son was five I made him a robot costume out of aluminum-foil-clad boxes including boxy shoes, while my husband wired the costume up so it would blink.  The costume was so impractical that our son had to leave his shoes alongside the road because he couldn't walk in them, and he couldn't see too well through the boxy box head's cut out eyes (good try - but we really had fun making it).

Why does any of this belong in a holistic living blog?  Because holistic living is about living in the moment and enjoying it, it's about authentic, or deep living.  Sewing your own costume instead of buying one is so much more satisfying.  Our daughter got a great sense of accomplishment and empowerment from it, she had a good time while she was making the costume, and she learned a valuable skill along the way.  Meanwhile,  I got the satisfaction that I taught the children a valuable lesson.  What would we have gotten out of a purchased costume?  A shopping trip (blah) and money and time not well spent (ok, so the sewing lesson was as much as a purchased costume), and probably (almost) the same amount of time spent (ok, a bit more - it took her four hours to sew the cat outfit).

Whether it's making jam, cooking dinner, sewing something, tending to a vegetable garden, or building your own bookshelf, it's time better spent (in my opinion) than screen time or shopping-and-driving-around time because it develops a hands-on skill, the activity itself is enjoyable and the result is handmade and unique.