Read these 22 Christmas Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Costume tips and hundreds of other topics.
The Santa suit is a widely recognized costume – red outfit with white trim, red hat, black boots, and a curly white beard and head full of hair. For a variation on the classic Santa suit, try the Old Time Santa suit. This version looks just like the ones so prevalent today, but with a slight twist. The red coat on the Old Time Santa suit is longer and comes with a hood. A ribbon adornment at the base of the jacket adds a nice vintage touch. The boot tops come in red and have decorative bells attached.
To compliment your Old Time Santa suit, get a deluxe Santa set which comes with wig, beard, eyebrows, and mustache. Other Santa suit additions include deluxe gloves and a bell to ring in the Christmas season.
What Santa Claus would be complete without a little helper? To complete the Santa Claus entourage, you need an elf costume for each member of the crew. Elves help Santa by making the toys at the North Pole and getting them ready for the children around the world. For an elf costume, you'll need to pick a rich Christmas hue like green or red. For the more budget minded, a fleece material will do. For an upscale elf costume, get a plush fabric like velvet. You'll need a conical hat, long belted jacket with white collar and cuffs, and tights, which can be solid or striped. For footwear get a pair of elf shoes with a curled toe. For an added touch, accessorize your outfit with a pair of elf ears.
Gold, and myrrh, and frankincense. You remember them from the hymns and Christmas carols--the Magi offered them in celebration of the baby Jesus' divinity. This was before Pottery Barn. Now you, or your children, are planning to dress up as the Three Wise Men at Christmas, for a party or school or church event. Gold you can easily handle--you can donate some jewelry or carry some chocolate coins, or a faux block of gold.
But what are frankincense and myrrh and how do you use them in your Christmas costumes? Maybe you'd be better off dressing up in a reindeer costume, elf costume, or Santa costume.
Frankincense and myrrh are, quite simply, spices, and spices were valuable in Arabia in the time of Jesus. You can use patchouli or another type of incense for frankincense, since incense has been a sacred offering in religions for centuries. Buy incense from your local naturalist shop or candle shop. You may even be able to buy frankincense, which is a tree sap found in the Middle East, from specialty stores.
Myrrh is a little trickier--it means "bitter," and is also a tree sap. You can also get it at specialty stores. Both myrrh and frankincense are used to make incense. If you carry incense sticks along with the gold, you'll have historically accurate Christmas costumes. Hey, it's more original than shopping at Pottery Barn for a Christmas gift.
Do you have visions of the Nutcracker for Christmas? If you do, you'll need a toy soldier costume for the holidays. Children's versions cost around $30 retail, while adult versions will run you about $65. You can find a toy soldier costume for men and women in the costume stores.
While costume stores may be one place to get your toy soldier costume, you can certainly make your own. These are the items you'll need to get started:
The Little Drummer Boy. Rum pa pum pum. Your little musician wants to be the Little Drummer Boy or Girl. How do you create a sweet traditional costume for the Drummer Boy or Girl? You wish your child had chosen a baby Santa Claus costume, Biblical Christmas costumes, an elf costume or a reindeer costume.
Actually, you can buy or make children's Biblical Shepherd Christmas costumes or an Arabian Nights-inspired costume to be historically accurate. Or your child can drum away while wearing a Wooden Toy Soldier outfit.
To complete the scene, siblings can carry a baby doll and dress as Mary and Joseph. Don't forget ox or cow and lamb costumes.
Most importantly, don't forget the drum! If your child doesn't play the drums, a portable wearable mini radio or CD player playing "The Little Drummer Boy" will allow him or her to pretend to rum pa pum pum. In the song, the infant Jesus smiled at the Little Drummer Boy. Everyone will smile at your Little Drummer Boy or Girl.
For the holidays, Christmas parties and wintertime plays call for a snowman costume. If you're purchasing one from the costume store, you'll find a wide variety from ones sized for the littlest tots to adult versions. You can pay anywhere from $20 for a snowman costume for baby to over $700 for a mascot version. A basic foam version for the adult will run you $150. For a plush pile suit, you can spend anywhere from $250 to $500 at a costume store. Some snowman costumes don't come with a top hat, so that's an accessory you'll have to add on yourself.
When the holidays roll around, there's no reason why Fido shouldn't be part of the festivities. Dressing your canine up in a holiday pet costume can bring cheer even to the grumpiest holiday Scrooge. For ideas on a holiday pet costume for your four-legged best friend, take a look at this list.
Girls are portraying all the roles guys once did--ironic, considering that in Shakespeare's time and in Kabuki theater, men played women's roles. So it shouldn't be a surprise that girls want to wear shepherd boy and wise men costumes at school, at Christmas parties and at church. Be careful--like a woman wearing a Santa Claus costume, some modernizations just don't work. A woman can wear a reindeer costume or elf costume, but there's a Santa costume and a Mrs. Santa costume--no arguments.
Sometimes assigning parts in Christmas plays can be difficult--remember the classics "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever"? Some traditionalists might object to girls wearing shepherd's robes--even though Christ embraced women as figurative shepherds of his flock.
Carry those canes, girls! Have a younger sibling or friend wear lamb and ox costumes. With the exception of Jesus and Joseph clothing, religious Christmas costumes work for girls as well as boys.
What about those three wise men? Maybe little girls aren't such a good choice to play the three Magi--although they can certainly fit into the costumes. After all, the women would have stopped to ask for directions even before they saw the Star of Bethlehem. But your little girls can certainly wear shepherd Christmas costumes.
Without the elves, Santa couldn't make toys, so an elf costume has to be as realistic as a Santa costume or a reindeer costume. Besides the pointy shoes, ears and jingle bells, an elf costume has to have that genuine elf "look."
Will theatrical makeup get you into the jolly green spirit? Should you paint your face green? Kids will love to cover their faces in green paint--even though you mostly see elves with unpainted cherubic cheeks. Occasionally, you'll see an older elf with wrinkles.
When you're designing elf makeup, here are a few elf-improvement tips:
* If you're masquerading as an older elf, apply wrinkles just as you would for a Santa Claus costume.
* Make sure the tone of the makeup matches or complements the plastic or rubber elf ears.
* If you and your kids don't want green all over your faces, try several different colors of glitter for that magical glow. Or let your imagination loose with a face-painting kit.
* Female elves might want to keep their makeup natural and subtle. Don't let it overwhelm the elf costume. Don't over-glam unless you're in a sexy elf costume. Glittery translucent makeup powder or foundation works well here.
After all, elves aren't replaceable--Santa would find it difficult to run his workshop without them. Wear a big smile, as if you have the best job in the world--which, to kids, you do!
Christmas and bells go together like a sleigh and reindeer. If you want to be truly festive in your elf costume or reindeer costume, try a set of tingle bells to attach to your elf shoes and elf hat. Just don't attach jingle bells to your elf ears! Shake some jingle bells and karaoke some Christmas tunes. May we suggest "Jingle Bell Rock"?
You can buy a reindeer harness such as the kind you'd see on plastic reindeer, or sew some bells on a ribbon and drape it all over your reindeer costume. You could even hang bells on your antlers.
Now get ready to rock and let the bells ring on Christmas Day!
You're worried like Santa trying to diet to slide safely down chimneys that your Santa Claus costume and reindeer costume or elf costume that you and your sweetheart plan to wear won't be appropriate for Halloween.
Before you spend more time fretting than trying on your Santa costume, remember two things:
1) Santa always gets down the chimneys.
2) Malls start hanging their Christmas decorations in July.
Christmas costumes at Halloween remind everyone that the shopping days and the season of goodwill are just around the corner. Plus, a Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus (or Sexy Ms. Santa/Sexy Santas Helper) duo is one of our favorite couple costume ideas.
So shed those fears just like Santa sheds pounds making toys and wear your Santa Claus costume with pride at Halloween.
Think of Christmas animals, and you usually think of Rudolph--but you don't want to wear a reindeer costume. There are more fun animal Christmas costumes for you as a kid to dress up in. Of course, you can be the Christmas lamb, ox (a cow costume is perfect), or donkey (you have the Shrek Donkey costume complete with teeth).
We have some more creative animal ideas, such as:
* A Santa Claus Dog--try a Playful Puppy costume with a Santa Claus hat and Christmas ribbons
* A Christmas Cat with Santa Claus or elf hat
* A Christmas Penguin with Santa hat
* A Christmas Bunny--like the Velveteen Rabbit, with a Christmas bow and Santa hat
* A Christmas Bear with Santa hat
Let the other kids wear the Santa Claus costume and the elf costume. You're a Christmas animal!
Kids love Christmas elves. After all, elves have the best job in the world--making toys and helping Santa. If you're Hermey from "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," you get to be a dentist too! (Imagine--Santa gives his helpers free dental care.)
An elf costume for a child is, other than a baby Santa costume, just about the cutest outfit you can find, either at Christmas or Halloween, plus it can double as a Peter Pan costume. But will your children's Christmas costumes be safe? If your kid dresses as Nestor the Long-Eared Donkey (Shrek Donkey garb works perfectly), will she trip over the ears? Will those elf shoes be too tight? Sometimes we adults worry too much and forget to enjoy the wonder of Christmas and seeing our little girl pirouette about in a green elf costume with those cute shoes.
You do need to make sure that the elf costume is loose enough for movement and unobstructed breathing. Be sure that the elf hat can be secured by a hatpin or chin strap if your little girl cavorts about in a Christmas play or during a Halloween or Christmas party.
Also, be sure that the costume doesn't have a lot of bells or accessories that can get caught or get in your little elf's way.
Your little girl loves being an elf, so give yourself peace of mind and you can enjoy the magic with her.
Okay, okay. We all know America needs to eat better, exercise more and trim the junk food from our diets. But do we really need to have Santa start endorsing low-carb and fat-free? As Mr. Claus and Mrs. Claus would agree, homemade North Pole cookies and candy canes beat the processed junk any day.
Your Santa Claus costume doesn't have to be politically correct. Maybe Santa doesn't have to have the stump of a pipe in his teeth, but a padded Santa belly is as essential for a Santa Claus costume as pointed elf ears are for an elf costume and antlers (as well as a red blinking nose) for a reindeer costume.
You have the Santa spectacles. You have the leather boots or boot tops. You have the full Santa Hat and beard. You've got the requisite padding. And despite Hollywood's trend that started with "Bad Santa," you have a smile in your heart and a ho-ho-ho on your lips. Plus you're not drunken like the Santa in "Miracle on 34th Street." You're ready in your Santa Claus costume.
Some other holly jolly holiday hints for bringing comfort and joy in your Santa costume:
* While candy canes and cookies are always welcome at Christmas, some parents may want the kids not to have so much sugar. Carry healthy snacks in your Santa sack.
* Flick those reins if you're in the sleigh, the way Kris Kringle did, as played byRichard Attenborough or Edmund Gwenn in "Miracle on 34th Street".
* Here's a tip from AnytimeCostumes.com: If you have a full natural beard, get temporary haircolor to maintain the illusion of the white-bearded Santa. If not, get a full beard and wig.
* Santa doesn't work alone! Recruit friends and fellow employees or volunteers to dress in a gingerbread man costume, reindeer costume and an elf costume or two.
* The best Santa Claus costume accessories you can wear are a merry smile, look of genuine interest in children, and red healthy color in those cheeks. If you're naturally pale, try jogging around the mall or drinking some of Santa's hot chocolate!
* Make sure the Santa costume is comfortable, especially the trousers--you don't want to look uncomfortable or grumpy on that dais!
Most of all, have fun. That's the best Santa Claus costume accessory.
You nitpick Bible scholars and Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ." Doubting Thomas? Analytical? You know you have faith. But you object to your neighbor dressing up in an adult Jesus costume at Christmas--Jesus was just an infant then!
It might be a tad historically incorrect to dress in fully grown Jesus Christmas costumes, but the Jesus costume with full Biblical wig will remind everyone what Christmas is supposed to be about.
If you're afraid your neighbor will get attacked by other doubters, surround him with the Three Wise Men, the angels, the donkey, ox and lamb as well as Biblical Mary and Biblical Joseph. Children dressed in religious Christmas costumes usually bring as many smiles as a child wearing an elf costume or Santa Claus costume, and the doubters will hush up. You can even use the robe from an angel costume and a Jesus wig to create a child's Jesus costume, or your kids can dress in baby swaddling clothes and a halo.
You've given your neighbor the seal of approval, although he doesn't need it to express his faith. But you have a point when you tell him Jesus didn't wear Timberland moccasins.
Ever notice that no one accuses Santa of beign too old for the job? Or how about Mrs. Claus? No one hints they need to retire. This is one time in your life, wearing the Santa Claus costume or Mrs. Santa costume, that you'll be happy to look older.
You might think you need makeup to get that Santa grandfatherly look and Mrs. Santa grandmotherly face. If you'll be bouncing kiddies on your lap, makeup with your Christmas costumes is essential. Here's how to get that aged look, according to AnytimeCostumes.com:
* Use a warm makeup base for a healthy Santa look.
* Apply shadow, i.e. black or gray, makeup tones to create wrinkle lines and hollows.
* Highlight cheeks and bones with a tone lighter than the base.
* Powder makeup with Colorset Powder.
* Add warm red or pink tinges in the cheeks if you tend to be pale even after running a marathon.
You can always go for the ageless glowing look as Mrs. Claus or Santa Claus, but it's more realistic to have the wrinkle effects! Kids expect to see an old Mrs. Claus and Santa Claus, the way you expect to see someone in an elf costume or reindeer costume at a mall at Christmas. It's refreshing to know that in our youth-driven society, people still want an older Santa Claus.
Mrs. Claus, like her husband, represents the warmth and hominess of Christmas, and love for all the children of the world. If you're dressing as Mrs. Claus or even Ms. Claus or Miss Santa, there's a certain image to uphold. Homemade cookies, apron, warm smile, eyeglasses, white gloves.
There are sexier Ms. Claus or Mrs. Santa Claus costume options, but be careful with them. A cute knee-length miniskirt trimmed in marabou is fun and pretty, but a midriff-baring Mrs. Santa costume is a no-no in mixed company. Don't laugh or groan--it's probably happened. Like the illusion of Santa himself, the rep of Mrs. Claus needs to be protected. It may seem old-fashioned to some women, but Mrs. Claus is a lady who's chosen to do what she's doing and genuinely enjoys it. Truth be told, she's the one who runs the North Pole--Santa's too busy checking his list twice and eating cookies!
So embrace the covered-up aproned Mrs. Santa Christmas costumes. If you want to skip the theatrical makeup wrinkles and pretend Mrs. Claus has had Botox or a facelift at the North Pole, that's fine--Santa and the elves can work magic! On the other hand, maybe making millions of children happy and living in a castle with lots of elf helpers keeps Mother Nature at bay.
Whatever you decide, though, Mrs. Claus is a legend in her own right, so wear the Mrs. Santa Claus costume with pride.
A Santa Claus costume with a zipper (for removing that Santa belly), plus a wig and beard? What a buy! But before you plunk down cash and practice your ho-ho-ho, think about what quality of Santa costume you want.
All Christmas costumes aren't created equal. You wouldn't buy an elf costume with too-tight shoes or a reindeer costume with too-big antlers. Even the Grinch (another great Santa costume option) went through alterations and refused to settle for a less than perfect Santy Claus hat and a coat.
Be as picky as the Grinch but not as nasty. A higher-quality Santa costume may not have the wig and beard--that's because all the value goes into the fabric. That plush soft fabric is a plus when kids are crawling on your lap. You don't want them to suspect that Santa shops at the 99 cent store.
Besides, a good beard and wig set will cost you chicken, er, reindeer feed. Bear in mind that the wig and beard that comes with that "bargain" Santa Claus costume may not suit your face.
That said, many excellent Santa Claus Christmas costumes do include the wig and beard. Just test out the suit (make sure you know the store's return policy) to see if the beard and wig work. We don't mean for you to wig out--we just want to make sure that your Santa suit makes you want to ho-ho-ho with feeling.
Looking for a Santa costume for Christmas time this year? You know that Jolly Old Saint Nick wears a red and white suit, but the Santa costume comes in some variations based on budget and quality. For a new Santa costume, expect to spend anywhere from $30 for an entry model to over $500 for a high-end professional level Santa Claus suit. Here's the lowdown on what's available:
Economy Santa Claus suit – The economy Santa Claus suit comes in a fleece fabric and faux rabbit trim. Your belt and boot covers will be made of vinyl. The economy version is well suited for someone who is planning on wearing the costume for a few outings.
Corduroy Santa Claus suit – This lightweight version of the economy Santa Claus suit works well in warmer weather.
Velour Santa Claus suit – This upgrade from the economy version features velour fabric and faux rabbit trim. You'll have a vinyl belt and boot covers. It's a nice version to use for corporate parties.
Plush Santa Claus suit – If you want a rental quality item, this is it. You get a plush fabric coat with thick faux rabbit fur trim. The vinyl belt comes with a metal belt buckle. You'll have the appearance of the more expensive suits without the upgraded lining for extra comfort on the inside.
Ultra Velvet Santa Claus suit – This quality suit is an actual velvet fabric that looks and feels soft to the touch. Your vinyl belt has a metal buckle. You'll get the upgrade of a nylon lining for comfort during use.
Professional Santa Claus suit – With a thick pile of plush fabric and longhaired faux rabbit trim, this red suit will charm adults and children alike. The interior satin lining of this Santa Claus costume ensures the wearer will be comfortable during daily use. The boot covers and belt are made of Naugahyde, a trademark imitation leather.
Royal Majestic Santa Claus suit – This is a Santa Claus suit that St. Nick himself would wear. This Santa Claus costume comes in a rich burgundy color with a thick plush pile fabric, longhaired faux rabbit trim, and satin lining. Accessories include the Naugahyde boot covers and belt.
You have several Santa Claus costume options, but don't forget to select from a wide variety of accessories as well. Compliment your Santa Claus costume with a wig or suspenders.
Red, red, red. A Santa costume is a Santa costume is a Santa costume, right? The material doesn't matter.
Actually, that's as erroneous as having an elf costume without pointed ears and shoes, or a reindeer costume without antlers. Santa suits come in all materials, including:
* Velvet and Velvet Lined
* Heavy Weight Plush
For Christmas, dress up in a Mrs. Claus outfit so Santa won't have to feel alone. Various versions of the Mrs. Claus outfit can be found in costume shops, but in case you'd prefer to put your own together, here's the look you'll need.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|