Ring in The New Year In Costume!

  • December 31, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell

One of the best parts of the holiday season is having the chance to glam up your look with lots of glitz and plenty of sparkle.  There really isn’t a better time to do that than on New Year’s Eve.  Ringing in the New Year is celebrated the world over in various types of celebrations and parties.  On New Years Eve, it’s official:  Out with the old and in with the new!  This is the perfect time to go all out with dressing up! There are many fun costumes and accessories that are absolutely perfect to add to your New Year’s look and are sure to give you the dazzling panache and flair you need in order to start 2013 of with a big bang!

Formal and Just Plain Fun:  Whether your New Year’s celebration is legitimately a black tie event or you just want to add some formalwear-inspired touches to your party look, the right accessories can make all the difference!  New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to bring out those glittery top hats, elbow length gloves, sparkling thigh high stockings and super glittery and sexy shoes.

Retro Looks:  The roaring twenties was a decade known for its prosperity, dynamic social growth and societal trends toward the new and modern.   New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to dress up in the fashion as well as the styles of this fabulous era in history.  New Year’s and the looks of the twenties go hand in hand, so if you’ve been dying to try out a fabulous (and sexy) Flapper look, now’s your chance!  These fun vintage looks recall a time period that was both a little bit rebellious and a whole lot of fun.  The sequined dresses, the fringe, the long strands of beads and the feathered hair accessories; not to mention even some drop dead glamorous boas--ladies this is your time to shine in full-on retro style elegance!

A Little Bit of Mystery:  Many New Year’s parties will embrace the authentic Mardi-Gras style of the masquerade ball.  Feathered masks, Venetian masks, opera-style masks--these are all fun New Year’s accessories that will add a true mysterious allure and mystique to your New Year’s celebrating.  Take your best party look up a notch with these captivating accessories!

Original Costumes:  A true costume party is a very fun twist for a truly raucous and innovative New Year’s celebration.  Bring your New Year in as Lady Gaga, Elvis Presley or even Sonny and Cher.  Other traditional New Year’s styles include royal Kings, Queens and of course, you could even put together a super silly Baby New Year look with some simple accessories.  Costumes and New Year’s parties go hand in hand--make sure you have your perfect look ready to go!

Sexy and Sophisticated.  Sleek and Dazzling.  Fun and Sparkling.  Glitzy and Glamorous.  Make your New Year’s looks extra special with fabulously unique costumes and accessories that are perfect for ringing in 2013.

Merry Christmas from Halloween Express

  • December 24, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring…wait…hold on just a second!  If your house is anything like mine, things are crazier than ever with all the last minute holiday preparations going on.  The truth is, everyone and everything is stirring!  The big question of the hour is, are you ready for the big day?  Well, ready or not, before you know it, another holiday season will be in the tank.  We hope your halls are decked, your stockings are hung, and your chimney is cleared out and ready for the big fat guy to come bounding down (with his bag loaded up with all your favorite costumes, of course!)

For weeks, we’ve been touting the many fun uses of awesome costumes during Christmastime and we surely hope you have your best ones ready to go; they are perfect to create some Christmas magic! No matter what your plans are for this holiday, we think celebrating while in character makes everything that much better!

The comedic filmmakers known as Sneaky Zebra have used some pretty awesome costumes themselves to show Deadpool and Boba Fett having some seriously crazy Christmas fun out on the streets of London.  Nothing I could say here today could give you the costume Christmas spirit like this will!  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from your friends at Halloween Express!

5 Tips For Christmas Shopping Procrastinators

  • December 19, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell

Hellllloooo procrastinators!  You know who you are.  You are now looking at the home stretch into Christmas and staring the 20th of December right in the face.  If you still are working on your Christmas shopping list, you might be coming a little late to the party.  It may not totally be your fault; it is after all, a very busy time of the year.  Those best laid plans to not put the holiday shopping off are now all but abandoned.  Folks, now it’s crunch time.

We’ve come up with a few helpful tips to assist you with your last-minute shopping endeavors.  You might have to get a little creative, but there is still time to pull off an amazing holiday.

Upgraded Shipping:  It’s a modern world we live in folks and you’d be surprised how fast you can get merchandise from point A to point B, and shipped right to your door--even now, just days before Christmas.  Many sites will offer deeply discounted overnight or 2-day shipping service to ensure your gifts are delivered just in time for Christmas.  Take advantage of these deals that are designed for you last minute shoppers and skip the store while doing so.  Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!  With the large throngs of fellow procrastinators that are out shopping in a mall near you, avoiding the store might be a very good thing, indeed.

Twas The Night Before Christmas:  And everything was found on sale!   Did the post-Christmas sales come Early? Holy Hannah--there’s deals a-plenty out there! You aren’t imagining things, in many instances it does look like an after-Christmas scenario in the shop-o-sphere.  Many retailers get really aggressive with their markdowns right before Christmas in order to move merchandise out of their door and into yours.  You procrastinators might be in luck, after all. If you can still find what you are looking for, chances are the price may already be marked down. 

Re-gifting:  Say that word and you might immediately think of that ancient fruitcake that’s been passed perpetually around your family for the past 5 years.  The truth is, however, that in a recent survey, most people say they wouldn’t care about receiving something that has been re-gifted; it simply depends on what it is.  You’ve heard it said that one person’s trash is another’s treasure.  If you have something on hand that you are certain another person could use or enjoy more than you do, why not pass it on?  This methodology could actually be called gift recycling rather than re-gifting--and what’s not to love about that?  You should, however, avoid passing on that nasty fruitcake.

Give the Gift of Yourself:  You have plenty of time to come up with some cleverly crafted coupons that are good for a gift everyone can use--a gift of your time.  A coupon that can be cashed in for a day of garage cleaning or pantry re-organization might be very appreciated by a loved one.  Other ideas (depending on the recipient) can include: free babysitting, free dog walking, free yard work, etc.  Not only will you get some long overdue work done, but you also may even get to spend some quality time with someone that you might otherwise not have.  Everyone wins!

Gift Cards:  This old standby gift reigns supreme in the minds of procrastinators everywhere, and why?  Because everyone loves to get gift cards!  It’s not going to win you any awards for originality this holiday, but you can bet your gift won’t have to be returned during the post-holiday rush, either.  When in doubt, a gift card is a very safe bet that will definitely be put to good use.

Attention, last minute shoppers. On your mark, get set, go!  There’s no more time to waste.  Before you know it, this holiday season will be in the bag.

The 5 Most Popular Christmas Customs

  • December 17, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell

There’s something about Christmastime that makes us hang onto those bygone traditions that have been passed onto us from one generation to another.  In a world that nowadays has to have the latest and the greatest innovations in most everything and in a world where technology seems to advance at nearly warp speed, for some reason, when it comes to the holidays, many of us tend to embrace the old fashioned customs with relative ease.  The activities that we associate with our own childhood memories as well as remembering those traditions of a generation or two that have gone before us are those that will endure, and are most favored by the masses.

The Christmas Tree:  Decorating a Christmas tree is one of the most universally accepted Christmas traditions out there and is one that is exuberantly participated in throughout the entire world.  The type of actual tree used may vary somewhat from place to place, but in spite of all the technological marvels that seem to abound, the real old-fashioned fir tree is still the stand out favorite.  Yes, we do need to water it, vacuum up the needles that fall from it, and depending on how long yours is up before Christmas, it can and will dry out a bit.  People seem to accept the failings of having a real tree inside their homes over the holidays, however, and year after year, this tradition remains nearly unchanged and continues to be one of everyone’s favorite parts of Christmas celebrating.

Santa Claus:  The legend of Santa Claus may be the most popular Christmas tradition of them all.  Santa Claus folklore states that if you are a “good” kid, a fat guy in a bright red suit will deliver toys to your home on Christmas Eve.  If you’ve been “bad”, you may end up with a lump of coal as an alternative gift, which is Santa’s way of admonishing you to be better next year.  Santa Claus (or one of the many other pseudonyms he is known as throughout the world) has been around in one form or another for many years.  The “real” Saint Nicholas, who lived back during the 4th century, was known for his benevolence and acts of kindness.  St. Nicholas shared his fortune with the poor and the needy (check out The History of Santa Claus)  If you want to create the perfect Santa Claus look this holiday season, be sure to take a look at our how to video on How to Create a Perfect Santa Claus Look.

Christmas Stockings:  Children everywhere will hang up their stockings near the fireplace or someplace else on Christmas Eve, in hopes that Santa Claus will come down the chimney on Christmas Eve and fill those stockings up with toys and goodies.  Legend states that thousands of years ago, St. Nicholas of Myra snuck into the house of a family and hid gold coins inside the stockings that were drying near the fireplace in order to save one of the daughters from being sold into slavery.  This story also has been told with St. Nicholas tossing the coins in through the window, where they accidentally landed in the stockings that were hanging on the mantel.  In any case, it’s an ancient piece of folklore that apparently has stuck with us well enough that many of us will be buying those perfect little stocking stuffers for all those fortunate enough to be found on our Christmas gift lists. 

Decking the Halls:  (And decking just about everything else, too!)  Decorating one’s home, inside and out, is a very popular Christmas tradition that has gotten more and more popular as well as elaborate as the years go by.  Simple wreaths and strings of Christmas lights have been further enhanced with giant, charming and whimsical inflatable Christmas yard art that totally lights up the yard with a festive Christmas spirit, giving a magical seasonal greeting to all that pass by.  It’s not uncommon in various communities to have certain homes so amazingly decorated that people will make a pilgrimage just to visit and see these Christmas decoration and light displays. 

Feasting!  Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a special Christmas feast involving lots of delicious holiday fare.  The traditional Christmas dinner includes foods such as roasted turkey, glazed ham, potatoes, vegetables, cranberry sauce, rolls and lots and lots of pumpkin pie! Christmastime has to be most everyone’s favorite time to really eat, drink and be merry! 

Whether you are celebrating an old-fashioned Christmas or starting some new holiday traditions of your own, be sure to visit our Santa’s workshop for those last minute costumes and decorations that are sure to add your own unique touch to your family’s holiday celebration!

Rudolph is Actually a Girl . . . and Other Fun Christmas Facts!

  • December 12, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell

While you are busily checking things off your Christmas to-do list, we thought you might enjoy knowing a little bit more about some of the more popular traditions and folklore that make Christmas fun and so enjoyable.  Here’s our list of little known Christmas factoids--some of which may actually surprise you!  Happy Shopping--and by the way, there’s still time to get that special Christmas costume sent straight to your doorstep--don’t wait another minute, because procrastinators often end up on Santa’s naughty list!

  1. Santa’s Reindeer are Probably Female.  Male reindeer shed their antlers during late November to early December.  Since Santa’s reindeer are generally depicted with antlers, one could easily assume then that his reindeer are all female, including beloved Rudolph.  You chick’s rock!
  2. Old What’s His Name?  Santa has many aliases and depending on just where you are in the world, Santa may be known by a different name.  In France, Santa is known as Père Noël.  In Holland, you might find the old dude known as St. Nicholas or Sinter Klaas.  Father Christmas is what you would call Santa Claus in England.
  3. Oh Christmas Tree! The whole idea of the Christmas tree actually comes from an ancient medieval tree that was used as part of a play during the Advent season.  The Paradise Tree, as it was then known, was used while reenacting the story of Adam and Eve.  An evergreen tree was decorated gaily with apples, symbolizing Eve’s temptation. 
  4. Feliz Navidad! Poinsettias account for 88% of all plant life purchases made during the Christmas season.  This traditional Christmas foliage originated in Mexico; and was brought to the United States for the first time by Joel Poinsett in 1829.
  5. Santa Loves Books!  Rumor has it that Santa Claus’ favorite reads include, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss, “The Polar Express”, by Chris Van Allsburg, and “The Gift of The Magi” by O’ Henry.
  6. Let it SNOW!  Santa loves to visit all children, but he definitely dresses for the snowiest climates on earth.  What cities are notoriously snow-packed? Valdez, Alaska; Blue Canyon, California; Mount Washington, New Hampshire and Marquette, Michigan-- all of these places average above two feet of snow each December!
  7. X Marks the Spot. Some people don’t like to use the abbreviation X-MAS as a substitute for the word Christmas, thinking that it might be a bit of a sacrilegious abbreviation.  The truth is that the first letter of the word Christ in Greek is chi, which is the same as the Roman alphabet letter X.
  8. What Happened to the North Pole?  It is rumored that Santa Claus may actually be living in Rovaniemi, Finland!  You can actually visit Santa Claus there and see him in his workshop along with his loyal crew of elves, who are busily at work making lots of Christmas toys.
  9. The Holly and The Ivy: Wreaths are a big part of ancient custom dating far back into history.  The Druids believed that Holly was a magical plant.  Wreaths were formed out of this evergreen in a circular shape in order to symbolize eternal life.  This shape took on deeper significance to Christians when Jesus Christ was crowned with a wreath of thorns.
  10. Christmas Smooches!  Everyone loves the tradition of mistletoe!  The ancient Celts thought that mistletoe was a magical plant that had special powers, including increased fertility and other healing abilities.  Folks from long ago put mistletoe throughout their homes in hopes that the mystical properties of mistletoe would keep evil spirits at bay and bring health and well being to all that lived within their residence.
  11. Bring on the Sweet Treats!  The most popular seasonal Christmas treats include:  Candy Canes, Gingerbread, Pumpkin Pie, Homemade Fudge, Frosted Sugar cookies and Toffee.  We’re pretty sure you can add a few of your own special goodies to this list, too!

The final countdown to Christmas has begun, but there still is time to get those last minute costumes, accessories and decorations to make your celebration extra special with lots of added Christmas sparkle and festive spirit.  But you had better hurry--like the first Christmas snowfall; these special seasonal items will soon just melt away!

Naughty or Nice: Christmas Dress Up that Fits Your Unique Style

  • December 10, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell

It’s not too late to add the ultimate in snazz factor to your holiday wardrobe.  A Christmas costume is the perfect way to get you, as well as your friends and family quickly into a festive holiday mood!  You know we have Santa Suits…and you know we have the usual assortment of Elf looks, Santa’s Helper costumes and even a few snow people, too.  But if you are looking for something a little more unique this Christmas, here is our list of top picks for lots of second looks this holiday season! Santa Claus Gone Sexy:  Bring a little light-hearted and relaxed flair into your Christmas morning celebrating as you don this super sexy look inspired by Playboy’s infamous Hugh Hefner.  This Santa style smoking jacket and matching cap will bring the look of festive leisure into your Christmas morning as you enjoy ultimate comfort along with incredibly hilarious Christmas style chic. Red…or Green:  If you can’t decide what color to wear for your holiday mischief making, but you do know for sure that you want to do a little frolicking under the mistletoe, this look is the perfect one for you.  This tempting little Elf costume is completely reversible, so it’s like getting two costumes for the price of one.  Green on one side and red on the other--all you have to do is make up your mind and find someone to use your Elfin magic on. Christmas Flicks- Bring Them to Life:  Now here’s something truly unique to add to your family’s holiday festivities.  We all have our favorite Christmas movies.  Why not recreate a unique part of those Christmas movie memories with an original costume straight from your favorite holiday film?  With jaw-dropping as well as hilarious styles like the Christmas Story Leg Lamp costume or even Ralphie’s most-dreaded gift, the pink bunny suit, you can get into your favorite film’s most uproarious characters and let your entire family in on the Christmas fun.   I think we all secretly wanted that pink bunny suit anyway--now’s your chance to get one of your very own!  Yes, the bunny slippers are included! Christmas Sweets:  Dressing up in costume that is reminiscent of your favorite Christmas treat is a great way to show off your super sweet side and head straight to Santa’s “goodie” list.  Try out a Gingerbread man get up or even a Peppermint-striped candy costume.  These looks are sure to add some sugarplum fantasy to your favorite holiday festivities! Gift Wrapped:  Looking to gift-wrap “you” in something incredibly special?  Why not put yourself underneath the Christmas tree?  For a unique gift for a very special someone, try on our Sexy Christmas Costume.  Oozing with oodles of holiday panache, our fur-trimmed and hooded sexy mini dress and boot tops will heat things up in a hurry, wasting no time in melting his heart.  This look is perfect for that special Christmas party just for two. Need a Little Christmas? Try a super fun Christmas accessory to jazz up your everyday look and get you straight into a holiday mood.  Reindeer antlers, Santa Caps, Angelic Halos, Elf Ears, Candy Cane striped socks and all sorts of glittery everything’s--these are just some of the festive accessories you can get into without much effort or fuss involved. Show off a little of your unique personality this Christmas season with some of these extraordinary costumes and accessories by visiting Santa's Workshop.  Why settle for ho-hum when you can have some serious HO HO HO!  

The Evolution of the Holiday Card

  • December 05, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell

At my house and undoubtedly at yours, too, Christmas cards have begun to trickle into the mailbox.  It’s tradition; holiday cards have long been sent amongst friends and family during the Christmas season.  It’s a nice way of staying in touch with those that we don’t see very often, plus sending a little love at the holidays is always a nice touch, right?  Besides, we all have so much extra time on our hands this time of the year, right?  I mean, sitting down and penning a note to every single person on our Christmas card list is fun…isn’t it? Okay, so maybe some of us don’t enjoy this time-honored tradition as much as others do. It’s not that I am a humbug or a Grinch by any means; I just have gotten so used to modern forms of communication like email and texting that the ancient art of letter writing has all but been lost on me.  I think this is true of a lot of folks as the old fashioned Christmas card just really ain’t what it used to be.  Like a lot of things in our modern world, the traditional Christmas card has evolved. Back in around 1843 England, communication was obviously not as instantaneous and simple as it is in our world today.  Necessity being the mother of most invention, at this time a Christmas card was needed by a man named Sir Henry Cole. Sir Henry had so many Christmas greetings that he needed to send out that he simply did not have the time to write an individual letter to each and every person he wanted to communicate with.  Feeling a great need to reach out to these people during the holidays, Sir Henry commissioned an artist named John Halcott Horsley to design the first known Christmas card.  The card was designed to illustrate feeding and clothing the poor, as it was Sir Henry’s most sincere wish to remind his associates to help the most needy and destitute, especially during the Christmas giving season.  A card depicting one happy family embracing another was created.  The traditional message stating “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You” was imprinted on the card, a timely message that has stuck with us for nearly 170 years. For the next 30 years or so, anyone who wanted to buy a ready-made printed Christmas card needed to buy it in England, as they weren’t being made here in the states until about 1881. Nowadays, the Christmas card has really come full circle.  Yes, you can still buy traditionally styled Christmas cards with an old fashioned, classic greeting inside.  Nowadays however, many of us opt to send a family photo card instead; which often gives families the opportunity to put a little of their own personality into the greeting card itself.  It’s true what they say about a picture being worth a thousand words; including a photo with a greeting card is a quick and easy way to get a holiday message across without having to write out a long letter. It’s not too late to deck your entire family out to make your holiday photo really unique, special and very festive!  Dressing in fun and whimsical Christmas costumes or even adding some nifty holiday accessories like Santa style caps is an easy way to add some seasonal spice to your family’s Christmas card photo.  We have all sorts of fun and festive holiday looks for you to choose from, starting with Jolly ol’ Saint Nick himself as well as a whole cast of other holiday characters, including Elves, all sorts of Santa’s Helpers and lots of other festive members of the Christmas crew! Your Christmas card just got taken to a new level of very merry fun, just by stepping into a holiday character that is bound to bring Christmas cheer to everyone on your holiday card list.  Don’t forget to dress up your beloved pet for the photo!  He’s part of the family, too!  Now smile and say…Merry Christmas!

A Costumed Christmas

  • December 03, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell

Don’t look now, but it’s December already--and you know what that means!  We’re officially in the final countdown to Christmas!  Once Halloween ended, you may have thought that the costume season had wound itself down.  Actually, here at Halloween Express, we are still going strong!  Costumes and Christmas go hand in hand! We have many exciting, festive and useful ways to bring the holiday spirit quickly into all your festivities. 

  • Photo Opportunities:  Your Christmas photos will be the talk of all your friends when you add a little costume whimsy and Christmas fun.  A family of Elves?  We can help you to create that.  Do you want to dress your baby up in something too adorable for words for his picture with Santa?  We can help you with that as well.  Don’t miss this chance to make your holiday photos that much more memorable.
  • Gift Delivery:  Have a special gift to deliver this Christmas and want to do it with extra holiday style and panache?  Make sure you have the perfect festive costume on while you make your grand entrance.  You can be Santa Claus himself with one of many of our fabulous Santa Suits, or you can dress up as one of his very industrious helpers.  These looks create amazing gift-giving impact!
  • When YOU ARE the gift:  Some of our sexier Christmas costumes are the perfect solution when you are looking to give someone the truly heartfelt gift of yourself for Christmas.  Make sure you have some mistletoe handy!
  • Christmas Pageant or Play:  Is your child playing the Shepherd or the Angel in the Christmas pageant again this year?  If you are looking for that perfect religious-themed costume (that won’t look like it’s made out of a bed sheet or a bath towel, we have many fabulous options that are perfect for your religious-themed Christmas celebration!
  • Imaginative Playtime:  Don’t overlook the most obvious use of costumes of all!  Let’s face it, kids love to play dress up!  Giving a favorite character costume as a gift for your child will give him or her hours of playtime fun.  Don’t save dressing up for Halloween when getting into a costume is fantastic fun most any day of the year!

Make your Christmas list and check it twice.  Costumes.  Accessories.  Decorations.  You want it and we have it!  Let the countdown to Christmas begin!