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Costume Countdown

The fact that stores already have started to decorate for Christmas, even though it's not even Halloween, let alone Thanksgiving yet, may seem sort of ridiculous. But it gives us some fabulous ideas for your costume this year. (You've only got one week!)

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas: To be this classic Dr. Seuss character, you will need lots of green face/body paint. There's plenty available in stores this time of year. Dig out that Santa cap from last holiday season and your dad's big red flannel shirt. Sew cotton balls around the cuffs, collar and bottom and make your costume complete with green tights. If you've got a dog _ or better yet, a little brother or sister _ make them wear the reindeer antlers and pull your sleigh.

Christmas Tree: Deck yourself with several yards of green material, then decorate yourself with bows, Christmas balls and various other ornaments. For shoes, try shoe boxes wrapped in festive paper and ribbons, gift style.

Or dig out those party favors from last year's New Year's Eve party and go as a New Year's reveler. Just dump a bunch of confetti on your head and blow an obnoxious horn in everyone's face. Ginger ale works nicely as fake champagne in a plastic martini class.

If none of these ideas turns you on, how about the Easter Bunny? Get some clip-on bunny ears, a fuzzy tail, some dyed eggs and last year's Easter basket. If you're lucky, you might even find a few stale marshmallow peeps still lying around.

Fast Food Taco Sauce Award: Tacky Trick-or-Treaters receive this "treat" for displaying poor imagination and worse taste: Barbie or G.I. Joe _ unless it's a Barbie or G.I. Joe doll after some real mean kid has played with it. You know, chopped up and/or singed hair, melted face, dislocated appendages, etc.