Holy Kryptonite! It’s Batman V. Superman!

  • March 31, 2016
  • Jenna Maxwell

It was bound to happen.  Even the best of the good guys can get a little too big for their spandex.  Egos of enormous size can occasionally collide--in the case of larger than life superheroes, this sort of collision is going to create massive waves.  In the upcoming film, Batman V. Superman: The Dawn of Justice, two of humanity’s favorite superheroes appear together on the silver screen for the first time.  The meeting, however, isn’t entirely pleasant.  You have to believe that the showdown between two of DC Comic's biggest crime fighters is going to be the stuff of which legends are made.  We can hardly wait! 

It seems that Bruce Wayne, Gotham City’s underground crime fighter has temporarily retired from fighting hoodlums and mega-villains.  Enraged by the devastation that ensued in the city of Metropolis in the aftermath of Superman’s battle with Zod, Bruce Wayne (aka Batman) decides that it may be time to deal with Superman in his own way.  Feeling that the Man of Steel has become a danger to humanity, Batman makes it his mission to take out Superman himself.  No longer will Batman allow Superman to use his power unchecked; the Dark Knight must go into action and take him on, mano a mano.

What happens when you have the two most colossal good guys battling one another?  Well, in a word, it’s chaos.  Batman V. Superman puts the world in a more vulnerable and perilous situation than ever before.  What better time than this for a nefarious villain to start making some noise--enter Lex Luther.

Lex Luther, updated into a computer geek more like Mark Zuckerburg than the rather charismatic power-fiend we used to recognize, is up to his usual notoriously villainous activity. Lex has a plan so evil, so corrupt, so destructive-- that it will force Batman and Superman to set their differences aside and team up--the world needs saving, after all.  And because sometimes it takes a woman’s touch to get the job done, Wonder Woman will also make her big screen debut to assist Batman and Superman in their quest to restore law and order to the world.  The “Justice League” has been united to form what promises to be a dynamic trio with capabilities of epic proportions.

In Batman V. Superman:  Dawn of Justice, you can expect an action-packed clash of superhero egos like nothing you’ve ever seen before, eventually overridden by a righteous compulsion to quash the evil forces that threaten the world. 

Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice opens in theatres March 25, 2016.  In the meantime, be sure to check out our massive collection of superhero gear- we have everything you need to get ready for all your rather heroic, larger than life endeavors. 

 

 


Bonnets to Bunnies: Hare-Raising Facts About Your Easter Stuff

  • March 22, 2016
  • Jenna Maxwell

As you begin to prepare for the annual arrival of the Easter Bunny--and as you gear up for your local Easter Egg Hunt--stop for a second.  Colored Eggs?  Baskets?  Easter Costumes? Bunnies that bring chocolate?  Although all these things are pretty much standard Easter fare, have you ever stopped to consider what started these rather odd traditions?  We’re here to clear the hare on all things Easter. 

Bunnies.  Although Easter is a religious holiday in which Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, somehow over time a long eared bunny has managed to take center stage.  Where did the idea of an Easter bunny come from, anyway?  As it turns out, since ancient times, the rabbit has been associated with fertility and springtime.  The hare was likely an important symbol of the ancient pagan festival that honored Eostre, the goddess of springtime.  Once Christianity began to spread throughout Europe, this traditional spring festival was adapted into the Christian Easter holiday, hare and all.  It’s assumed that the idea of an Easter Bunny came to the United States hundreds of years ago with German immigrants who made their new home in America.

Bonnets.  Songs have been written about them, while big and little girls have been wearing them for centuries.  Although far less prevalent in our modern day than historically, the Easter Bonnet is legendary and has etched its place in Easter history.  Easter has always been a time for folks to wear new clothes, this being a symbol of rebirth, renewal and springtime.   Easter bonnets reached their peak of popularity during the mid-1800’s. The tradition began with a very grand Easter parade that took place in New York City.  Following Easter religious services, wealthy folks would don their opulent Easter finery and show it off as they walked down the street.  This event became an annual Easter tradition, and the ornate and highly decorated Easter bonnets became one of the highlights of the event. 

Eggs.  Did you know that over 61 million dozen eggs are sold during the Easter season?  What is it about these incredible little orbs that remind us of Easter?  The egg has long been considered a symbol of fertility and new life.  Centuries ago, it became a popular Easter custom to decorate eggs and give them as Easter gifts.  Primitive egg dyes were once made from onion peels, flower petals, and juices.  Nowadays, decorating hard-boiled eggs for Easter is a popular tradition that kids of all ages continue to enjoy. 

Baskets.  The celebration of Easter is hard to envision without Easter Baskets.  After all, you’ve got to use something to collect all those Easter Eggs, right?  The tradition of the Easter basket likely has its roots in ancient pagan history. In the spring, the first seedlings of crops were often gathered up as an offering to the gods in hopes that this would ensure their bounty would continue.  With the advent of Christianity, baskets often became associated with the ending of Lent.  Baskets of food were brought to post-Lenten feasts that would occur once the forty day period of fasting came to an end. 

Candy.  Did you know that more candy is sold for Easter than any other holiday except for Halloween?  Included in this massive candy consumption are over 90 million chocolate bunnies, 16 billion jellybeans, and 700 million Peeps! 

Cute Easter Chicks.  Baby chicks are only one of many animals that are born during the spring and have long been associated with Easter.  Baby chicks, like eggs, are a symbol of new life.  Christians liken the idea of a baby chick hatching from its egg to Jesus Christ arising from his tomb during the resurrection, making the chick itself a very popular Easter symbol. 

For all our Christian friends, please join us in gratitude for Christ’s sacrifice and the joyful renewal it brings to all God’s children this Easter season. Happy Easter from your Costume Eggs-pert Friends at Halloween Express!

Bonnets to Bunnies:  Hare-Raising Facts About Your Easter Stuff

Feelin’ Lucky? Great Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

  • March 15, 2016
  • Jenna Maxwell

St. Patrick’s Day is just days away--have you made your plans yet?  You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy this exciting celebration that honors both Irish culture and history.  Whether you are Irish or just Irish at heart, here are some really great ideas for fun ways to mark St. Patrick’s Day. Today, we are all Irish! 

Learn About Irish History:  So what is St. Patrick’s Day all about anyway?  St. Patrick’s Day began as a religious feast that honored the life of the patron Saint of Ireland, St. Patrick, of course. An excellent way to enjoy this exciting holiday is to learn even more about its history and the Legend of the Leprechaun.  St. Patrick’s Day is so much more than shamrocks, leprechauns, and green beer. 

Wear Green!  You don’t want to get pinched, do you?  On St. Patrick’s Day you’ve got to wear your green!  St. Paddy's Day isn’t exactly the time to be shy about how you get the job done either, in fact, when it comes to wearing your green this March 17, may we suggest going big?   That means green everything!  Hats, socks, accessories and even costumes are all great ways to immerse in the St. Paddy’s day spirit! 

Learn a Limerick or the Lingo.  Today is the day to find yourself a favorite Irish joke, or to learn a limerick to tell your friends while celebrating at the local watering hole.   It’s also a great time also to brush up on a few Irish vocabulary words such as Banshee, blarney, donnybrook, shillelagh, leprechaun and of course, Shamrock. 

Consume Irish food and drink.  It’s time to say cheers while sharing an Irish toast with your friends--after all, it’s tradition.  Here’s one of our favorites: 

Dance as if no one was watching,
Sing as if no one was listening,
And live every day as if it were your last!

Don’t waste a great Irish holiday drinking Budweiser, either.  By all means realize that Irish beer and spirits are the order of the day!  Guinness, Bailey’s and anything green works especially well. 

Enjoy Irish Music and Dancing.  Don’t be surprised if your local pub is playing Irish music on St. Patrick’s Day.  How will you respond?  By dancing an Irish Jig, of course! 

Try to Catch a Leprechaun.  Kids of all ages enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day tradition of setting a trap for a leprechaun and attempting to find one. And why not?  If you are fortunate enough to catch the little curmudgeon, he is required to show you where he keeps his stash of gold.  But be careful, even once captured, a leprechaun can get away in a blink of an eye!

Go to a Parade!   Many cities hold parades to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!  Consider yourself especially lucky if you can attend one!  Some of the bigger St. Paddy’s Day parades are held in Chicago, St. Louis, Cleveland, Kansas City, Savannah, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Davenport, Boston, and Pittsburg. 

Celebrate!  St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are likely as close as the nearest pub.  There is no reason you can’t hold a St. Patrick’s Day party at home, either.  Invite your friends over to eat, drink, dance and of course, wear their green!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from your friends at Halloween Express! 
Feelin’ Lucky?  Great Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

Feelin’ Lucky: Good Luck Charms That Work!

  • March 08, 2016
  • Jenna Maxwell

Come March, it seems that everyone wants to be a little bit Irish.  St. Patrick's Day has become a celebration embraced by the masses--and why not?  Who couldn’t use a little bit of fun and good fortune?  So what’s the deal with all those St. Paddy’s Day good luck charms, anyway?  Where did they come from--and more importantly--do they actually work?

If you are one of those folks that consider yourself to be just a little bit superstitious, you are not alone.  A recent survey suggests that at least 75 percent of people are at least a little bit prone to this type of behavior.  Perhaps you have a lucky article of clothing or piece of jewelry.  Or perhaps you have a ritual you must go through on an important day.  Maybe it’s just as simple as tucking your favorite good luck charm into your pocket.   Do these lucky talismans have any real power?  As it turns out, perhaps they do.

Behavioral scientists have discovered that if you believe that something brings you good luck, it may just improve your outcomes.  Does this sound like utter bologna or completely bogus nonsense?  As it turns out, good luck charms and good luck rituals may put “luck” in a whole new light.  Perhaps we have more control over our lives and what happens to us than we may realize.  In other words, if you believe you have good luck, you may just get it.  It seems that the power of positive thinking is real.

Lucky charms or rituals are much more widespread than you may think.  A number of professional athletes are known for having specific rituals or routines they must go through before a big game.  Many brides will wear a sentimental piece of jewelry on her wedding day to bring her good fortune or luck.  Let’s face it; holding onto a good luck charm may just give you that little positive mental boost that makes a difference.  A good luck charm might be the physical token that symbolizes both positive thinking and a confident attitude.  What could be wrong with that?

There are many good luck charms that are considered traditional, or you may have one that is uniquely your own.  Will one of these bring you good luck today?

Four Leaf Clover:  St. Patrick is said to have used the shamrock to teach the Irish people about the Holy Trinity.  A four-leaf clover was so rare that it became a symbol of Irish good luck.  To the Irish, the first three leaves of the four-leaf clover were said to represent the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  The fourth leaf was supposed to represent great fortune or good luck!

Horseshoe:  In the days of old, Blacksmiths were thought to have magical powers because they worked with both fire and iron.  Because the blacksmith created the horseshoe, it became a potent symbol of good luck.  Always hang a horseshoe with the open ends facing upward so that the good luck will be contained within the curve.  An upside down horseshoe is thought to be unlucky, as it would allow all good fortune to run out.

Rabbit’s Foot:  For centuries, the rabbit has been considered both a symbol of fertility and good luck.  Clearly the rabbit is one of those animals that is very lucky in love--thus, it stands to reason that carrying around a rabbit’s foot might just bring a little extra serendipity your way. 

Pennies:  Finding money has long been considered a lucky break.  Pennies have a particular connection with good luck, especially when found with the heads side facing upward.  “Find a penny, pick it up and all day you’ll have good luck! “

Wishbone:  Have you ever saved the wishbone after eating a turkey dinner?   A relatively common practice is for two people to each hold onto one end of the wishbone while breaking it into two pieces. Tradition states that whoever gets the larger part of the bone will receive the blessing of good luck. 

If you really want your luck to improve, in addition to using any good luck charm, try checking out our whimsical and exciting collection of St. Patrick’s Day costumes and accessories.  Wearin’ o’ the green is a St. Patrick’s Day tradition.  You never know how strutting your green stuff could change your life--or your luck. 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from your feelin’ Irish friends at Halloween Express!

Feelin’ Lucky:  Good Luck Charms That Work!

What We Can Learn From Dr. Seuss

  • March 02, 2016
  • Jenna Maxwell

March the 2nd marks the birthday of one of the most beloved authors of children’s literature, Dr. Seuss.  Traditionally, Dr. Seuss’ birthday is remembered in schools, libraries and communities as a day devoted to celebrating the love of reading while recognizing some of the most memorable characters created by this unusual man. 

Dr. Seuss was born on March 2, 1904.  His parents named him Theodor Seuss Geisel, Seuss being his mother’s maiden name. 

During his collegiate years, Theodor became a writer for a magazine that was called the “Jack-O-Lantern.”  One unfortunate night, Theodor was caught drinking gin in his room with one of his college roommates.  Since this was during the days when the alcohol laws of Prohibition required strict enforcement, Theodor was forced to resign from his position at the magazine.  Undeterred, Theodor continued to write, but adopted a pen name, Seuss, to conceal his true identity. 

Dr. Seuss worked as both a writer and a cartoonist for advertising during the 1930’s and 1940’s.  He also regularly contributed political cartoons to various publications as the war approached.  Although Dr. Seuss never had any children of his own, he was quoted as saying, “You have ‘em, I’ll entertain ‘em.”  Most certainly it can be said that Dr. Seuss has been entertaining generations of children for decades and well beyond his death in 1991.

The Cat in the Hat, the famous children’s story that may have started it all, was written at the request of a publishing company of school textbooks.  A 1954 report demonstrated some rather startling statistics about the literacy of children, which became a great concern to the enterprise.  Dr. Seuss was then commissioned to write a book that would not only appeal to children but would only use 250 words that were specified by the editor.  The book would be specially designed to help children that were learning to read.  The Cat in the Hat was born! 

After the Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss went on to write and illustrate forty-four other children’s books.  His books have been translated into over fifteen languages and have been cherished by generation after generation of children with well over 200 million copies of his books being sold.

Our Favorite Dr. Seuss Quotes!

 Although Dr. Seuss often stated that he never wrote a book with a definite moral thought in mind, many life lessons can be learned from the pages of this great man’s beautiful books.

Book:  I Can Read with My Eyes Shut

“There are so many things you can learn about, but you’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut”

Book:  The Lorax

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.”

Book:  Oh, The Places You’ll Go! 

“You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

Book: One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

“If you never did you should.  These things are fun. And fun is good.”

Book:  Happy Birthday to You!

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.”

Book:  Oh, the Thinks You Can Think

“Think left and think right and think low and think high.  Oh, the thinks you can think up if you only try!”

Book:  Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?

“You oughta be thankful a whole heaping lot for the people and places you’re lucky you’re not.”

Book:  Horton Hears a Who!

“Don’t give up!  I believe in you all. A person’s a person, no matter how small. And you very small persons will not have to die if you make yourselves heard!  So come on now, and TRY!”

Book:  The Cat in the Hat

“Look at me!  Look at me!  Look at me NOW!  It’s fun to have fun but you have to know how.”

Happy Dr. Seuss’s Birthday from Your fun-loving friends at Halloween Express!