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Elf on the Shelf – Cool or Creepy?

Posted by Charles On November - 28 - 2014

Elf on the Shelf Costume

When it’s time for your holiday festivities, what do you and your family do every year to celebrate?  One tradition that has become prevalent among families all over the country is The Elf on the Shelf.  “The Elf on the Shelf,” which is a children’s picture book that comes with a toy elf, was conceived by woman named Carol Aebersold as well as her two daughters who wanted to share their particular Christmas tradition with the world.  Essentially, the book depicts the story of an elf who comes to each child’s home from the North Pole so that he or she can watch over the children, starting from Thanksgiving.



Elf on the Shelf sitting by a door
Every night, the elf teleports back to Santa to report whether each child was naughty or nice; the next morning, the magical creature returns to the home in a different spot and repeats this process until Christmas Day, upon which the elf retreats back to the North Pole until the subsequent Thanksgiving.  Since its humble beginnings in 2005, this Christmas traditional has grown exponentially in popularity to become one of the most well-known holiday customs in the country; however, an increase in popularity has inevitably led to a growing voice of dissent against the little elf and his omniscient presence within the homes of America.  As The Elf on the Shelf continues to pervade our holiday culture, we must ask ourselves a pressing and necessary question: is this tradition a fun and cool addition to our Christmas celebrations, or is it just hopelessly creepy?

 Elf in Stocking

“The Elf on the Shelf” is certainly popular for a reason–children and adults alike love this mystical being for all of the holiday fun that he effortlessly provides as well as the reinforcement of good behavior that comes with his presence.  Every morning from Thanksgiving until Christmas Day, the little ones will have a ton of fun searching through your home for this adorable little guy; whether you put him in a simple spot like a shelf or a table or you get more creative with his location, your children will be delighted as soon as they find him.  You can even have fun with it as a parent by constantly thinking of new and creative ways that you can present the elf to your children the next morning.  “The Elf on the Shelf” provides the additional benefit of curbing bad behavior–since he’s always watching the little ones and reports back to Santa Claus every night, you can bet that your kids are going to be extra nice this year!

Elf on toilet
The creative and behavior-policing potential of The Elf on the Shelf, however, is a double-edged sword.  There is a growing trend among parents to concoct elaborate, mischievous, and overall outrageous storylines for their elves; they even go as far as creating messes and chaos in their home before the kids are even awake just to blame it on the elf!  The deliberate destruction of your home in the name of The Elf of the Shelf is seen as a ludicrous and unnecessary tradition by many parents.  Additionally, the supposed constant vigilance of the magical North Pole inhabitant can appear quite extreme to many parents–the ubiquitous nature of the elf is reminiscent of a Nineteen-Eighty Four-esque dystopian ruler that may be better left in novels.  Taking away a toy for bad behavior may be a better way to get your children onto the nice list!

It’s up for you to decide: do you think this elf is adorable, fun, and effective in making your children behave around the holidays, or does it go way too far?  No matter what you ultimately think of “The Elf on the Shelf,” it has certainly made an impact in the country’s holiday traditions and provides countless hours of fun for so many children!


The Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

Posted by Charles On November - 2 - 2014

You’ve been dreading this day for the entire month: Thanksgiving. It’s that ugly plucked turkey that mocks you every year. It comes out of the oven drier than the Sahara and the only one not slathering it in gravy to make it swallowable is the family dog. Don’t let that big bird bully you this year! We’ve got some tips to help you make your Thanksgiving turkey perfect.

After you’ve thawed your bird, remove the bag of giblets from inside the cavity, and either throw it out or cook it separately. But wait, drop that stuffing! Don’t stuff your bird before you cook it! Not only is it a health hazard, but your bird will get overcooked in your attempts to thoroughly cook the stuffing.

What you should be cooking your turkey with is herbs, spices, and other seasonings, and make sure you’re generous with them, too! You know how heavy that bird is because you had to probably lift it at some point, and a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of pepper just isn’t going to flavor such a big bird. Rub the cavity thoroughly with your seasonings, and then salt and pepper the skin.

One of the secrets to cooking a great turkey, though, is to stick seasoning between the skin on the breast and the breast meat itself. Don’t remove the skin completely, but do separate it from the breast meat to give yourself a pocket. Pick your favorite herbs and spices, mix a little cool butter in with them, and stick it under the skin.

For added juiciness, add a little less than an inch of water to the turkey pan. The turkey will “sweat” juices when it cooks, so adding more might overflow your pan! Basting your turkey as it cooks isn’t proven to improve juiciness, but it doesn’t hurt to do so if you want to.

Use the recommended cooking times that came with your bird. If you don’t have the plastic wrappings anymore, the USDA recommends you roast your turkey in an oven preheated to 325 °F. You can find a detailed chart from the USDA’s turkey page, but cooking time can range from an hour and a half to a full five hours, depending on your bird’s weight. That’s about 20 minutes per pound. You can be sure your turkey’s good to eat by using a meat thermometer; it’s done when the thickest part of the turkey, usually the breast, hits 165°F.

Secret number two to a great turkey is to let the turkey rest when you pull it out of the oven. It’s going to smell absolutely delicious and you’re going to want to dig into it to see how well you did this year, but letting meat rest is going to help it stay juicier. The amount of time you should let it rest varies on the size of your turkey, but giving it at least 20 minutes of some alone time should do the trick. Don’t touch it, don’t look at it, and don’t even think about it during its resting period.

Now that we’ve told you some of our secrets, why don’t you share some of your own secrets? Leave us a comment below with your favorite tips and tricks for the perfect Thanksgiving turkey!

You Can Remain Anonymous on Guy Fawkes Day

Posted by Charles On October - 31 - 2014

“Remember, remember, the fifth of November…” So goes the beginning of the famous poem dedicated to the celebration of Guy Fawkes Day. On November 5th, 1605, a group of conspirators, led by Guido “Guy” Fawkes, planned to assassinate King James I and blow up the parliament building. The plan was to restore the Catholic monarch by replacing the king with his nine-year-old daughter, Princess Elizabeth. The attempt failed when Fawkes was discovered guarding thirty-six barrels of gunpowder. Once the conspirators had been tried and sentenced to death, King James declared November 5th a day of celebration. He encouraged all to rejoice by burning fires and ringing church bells. The day is also known as Bonfire Night, and is commonly celebrated in Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia, and parts of Canada.

You don’t have to hail from England to celebrate this illustrious event. Guy Fawkes has become quite popular over the years, especially after the movie, V for Vendetta. Many have become familiar with the Guy Fawkes Mask, and it has become a symbol for many anti-government and anti-establishment groups around the world. If you and your friends are looking for a reason to celebrate this November 5th, what better reason than honoring the infamous hero. Put on your Guy Fawkes masks and gather around the bonfire. You all can join in on the time honored tradition of burning effigies, setting off fireworks, and reciting the poems and songs associated with the event. This is the perfect opportunity to play with fire, and not have to worry about getting in trouble!

If you want to make the day awesome, have your guests create their own effigy to burn in the fire. Paper mache villains, from movies, books, and television, make great victims for your fiery pulpit, and will have everyone excited to light up their creation. Supply your friends with an assortment of accessories for them to construct fun figures to burn. Build your bonfire, and have everyone dress up to celebrate the occasion, all wearing their masks of course! Provide food and drinks, as well as other goodies, and make the experience one that everyone can enjoy. You may even start a new tradition amongst your group of friends.

The Gunpowder Plot may have been a failed attempt to blow up the House of Lords, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate with a fire of your own. Do something different this year, and honor one of the lesser known holidays in November. As the poem goes, “I know of no reason/Why the Gunpowder Treason/Should ever be forgot!”

The Halloween Fundraiser Has Changed

Posted by admin On August - 21 - 2014

The Halloween Fundraiser that has on Wholesale Costume Club since 2009 is no longer operating so that the company can offer its costumers a NEW and IMPROVED fundraiser!

The Costume and Party Fundraiser is now its very own website and no longer affiliated with Wholesale Costume Club.  If you took part in this Halloween Costume Fundraiser in the past and would like to continue then you must register here and get a new promo code and customized flyer for your company. This Halloween fundraiser still has the same great selection of costume and accessories but adds over 10,000 party supplies and party kits for every occasion.



Check out Costume and Party Fundraiser and get started with fundraising today.

Game of Thrones Season 4 Recap

Posted by Charles On July - 30 - 2014

Game of Thrones Season 4 Cast

Season 4 of the American fantasy series “Game of Thrones” has come to an end and the anticipation for season 5 has reached great heights.  To recap, the season kicked off at King’s Landing where royals from all 7 kingdoms gathered for the highly anticipated union of Prince Joffrey Lannister and Margaery Tyrell.  Within minutes of the grand ceremony, the episode took an unexpected turn. Prince Joffrey was killed and his uncle, Tyrion Lannister, was accused and detained for his death – but did he really commit the crime?

Game of Thrones Tyrion Lannister

From that tragic event on, the tone for season 4 was set. There were nail-biting twists and turns in the story line that kept watchers on the edge of their seats. Jamie Lannister returned home; Sansa Stark silently escaped King’s Landing during Prince Joffrey’s death; Khalessi, the mother of dragons, built an outnumbered army but lost control of her greatest weapons; the men of the Night’s Watch fought to protect the Wall; and Tyrion Lannister killed the protector of his family and father Tywin Lannister.


With the close of season 4, the war of the five kings continues. Will the Lannister’s be protected without their father? What’s Sansa Stark’s motive now that she has escaped King’s Landing? Will Khalessi regain control of her dragons and claim what’s rightfully owed?  Unfortunately, these questions will all go unanswered, and despite the year long wait for season 5 we can assure you what’s to come is well worth the wait.

If you want to capture the drama of Games of Thrones as your Halloween costume this year then check out these creative Game of Thrones costumes.

See our Recap of Season 3: Games of Thrones’ Season Finale Excites Us For Season 3

Hypnosis is Not as Spooky as You Think

Posted by Charles On July - 22 - 2014

woman being hypnotized

Your eyes are getting heavy; you are getting verrrryyy, very sleepy…. If you have seen horror movies you probably picture the process of being hypnotized as a mad scientist with the pocket watch forcing you in a trance. On the other end of the spectrum, if you have seen a hypnosis performer you most likely think they are capable of controlling a group who are completely unaware that they are acting like clowns. Neither is true.

psychedelic image

Hypnosis is not a Halloween gag or a parlor trick. It is your own ability to harness your mind. No one can forcefully hypnotize you or make you do something you don’t want to do.

August is National Hypnosis Awareness Month. These are the facts you need to know:

  • There is no mind control involved and you are not asleep
  • Hypnosis is a natural state that occurs in us nearly every day. Daydreaming or being so consumed by a task that you block out your conscious surroundings are examples.
  • In a state of hypnosis your conscious mind gets distracted so that your subconscious mind can receive suggestions.
  • It is actually a very relaxed yet hyper aware state of being. Your focus, memory and level of concentration are all elevated.
  • It is impossible to get stuck in hypnosis. You are in control at all times.
  • Hypnosis can help you overcome fear, reduce pain, and change negative thought or behaviors. It can even improve your confidence that thereby improve your performance at work, in sports and in many other situations.
  • A hypnotist has no special powers. Anyone can do it if they know how.

Hypnosis is simply the power of suggestion. Some people are more suggestible than others which makes being hypnotized easier and the results more effective. There are tests that a hypnotist will use to determine your level of suggestibility and thus, the best method of hypnotic induction to use.

Stage hypnotists use suggestibility tests to weed out the people in the audience that are at the highest level and therefore the easiest subjects.  They are open to suggestion, want to be hypnotized and are more likely to feel comfortable in the silly scenarios that these stage performers put them in. Remember, at no time is anyone being forced to participate. If the hypnotist asks the subject to do something that they don’t want to do, the subject will simply not do it and the quick thinking performer will simply tell them to remain in the “sleep” state and move on with another trick.

Do you think hypnosis is the real deal or a bunch of hogwash? Let us know.

Harry Potter and His Birthday Celebration

Posted by Charles On June - 27 - 2014

Harry Potter Book SeriesThis month is the birthday of an unassuming boy named Harry who wears glasses, has a lightning shaped scar on his head and once lived in a cupboard under the stairs.

Harry Potter is the star of a series of books that were initially targeted at tweens, but soon became popular with adults and kids of all ages. Over the years as the series became popular, bookstores began holding events to coincide with the released date of the newest one; often they were held at midnight and attended by kids and adults alike. It became a highly successful movie series as well culminating in June of 2010 when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter came alive at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, Florida.

Hogwarts at Universal

The stories were spun by a young single mom living on welfare. J.K. Rowling created a magical realm that exists at the same time and place as our own. It begins with baby Harry being dropped off at his Aunt’s home after his parents have been killed by the evil wizard, Lord Voldemort. When we next see him, Harry is an outsider in his Aunt and Uncle’s home; they don’t even plan on celebrating his July 31st birthday. When he is 11, he learns of his background and goes off to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It is not until he meets Hagrid, who gives him is first birthday cake, and his soon-to-be best friends Ron and Hermione that he finally feels at home.

Voldemort not only killed Harry’s parents but tried to kill Harry as well; the evil wizard is almost destroyed in the process but is able to cling to life using his dark magic. We are left to wonder why Harry survived and we find out eventually (spoiler alert) that it was his mother’s love that saved him, something that Voldemort cannot understand and eventually leads to his ultimate demise. Love and friendship are important in the world of Harry Potter, which is one of the reason the stories resonate with so many people. As the series progresses, Harry is able to defeat Voldemort in several battles – and eventually conquer him — through the love and help of his friends and family.

Universal Replica of Diagon Alley

Hogwarts is an impressive castle described in detail by J.K. Rowling in the books and it is magnificently presented in the films. The designers at Universal worked closely with both the author and the movies’ production designers when creating the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The result is a magnificent structure – both inside and out – that makes visitors feel as if they have stepped into the pages of the book or into the movie. All you are missing are Hogwarts robes, which you can order right now from us!

Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios

To get to Hogwarts, Harry had to take the train at platform 9 ¾. Muggles (the wizard term for non-magical folk) couldn’t see the platform or get on the train in the movies or books, but they can at Universal. The Hogwarts Express runs from the new Diagon Alley in Universal Studios to the previously existing Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Diagon Alley is a street that is the center of the wizarding world in London, but it cannot be seen by Muggles. At Universal, however, visitors can walk through as if it really existed. One of the main attractions is Gringotts Bank, where Harry, Ron and Hermione rode a dragon to escape from the minions of Voldemort. Visitors to the park can take an exciting roller coaster ride through the bank and its lower vaults full of tricks and traps. It’s a great place to celebrate Harry’ birthday!

If you are not going to Universal, you can immerse yourself into the world of Hogwarts with help from our Harry Potter costumes, accessories and props. Our selections include Hogwarts robes, ties and scarfs, dementor costumes, Voldemort mask and robe, wands, brooms, a sorting hat, a Hogwarts banner, a white owl and more.

How will you celebrate the birthday of the world most famous wizard, Harry Potter?

The Extraordinary Truth in the X-Men Stories

Posted by Charles On May - 23 - 2014


X-Men header image

The prejudice and unsubstantiated yet understandable fear of mutants are themes that have followed through in every X-Men movie to date, but the newest release, X-Men: Days of Future Past, breaks down the standard Hollywood convention of watering down source material in favor of showing a more realistic mosaic of how fear and prejudice often result in the unpredictable atrocities propagated by mankind–and in the case of this movie, mutantkind, too.

X-Men Charles Xavier

Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy) has always been a practitioner of reconciliation and open discussion between humans and mutants. He fully understands that when humans find a new source of fear and loathing, they cling to it; mutants possess abilities that are beyond understanding and, in many cases, absolutely destructive in the hands of an unstable person. Intense prejudice results in certain mutants, especially those who have an obvious physical mutation, such as Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), to feel like second class citizens, which results in intense protective pride bordering on megalomania. Magneto (Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender) is Charles’ foil and he sees humanity as a previous step on the evolutionary map; for him, there is no compromise with mankind because they will never understand, far less learn to accept, mutantkind. The X-Men comics delve into a story that is riveting in its visuals and profound in its sociological exploration.


Wolverine Classic...Ideological differences are at the heart of this film as in any other X-Men film, and Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) finds himself as an unwilling participant yet again in the great human versus mutant question. Most of the films engage the audience by using Wolverine as the vehicle of exploration into this world, and while he is a mutant himself, Wolverine prefers a simpler life, far from Charles’ summits on human and mutant reconciliation and Magneto’s warpath toward mutant liberation. In this film, Wolverine is sent back into the past to prevent the events that result in a future where mutants are rounded up into internment camps and exterminated from the face of the earth. Rather than one primary villain, the movie shows that the main antagonist is fear, and how that fear results in the creation of the Sentinels, hulking robots programmed to wipe out mutants. This newest film ramps up the action and storytelling several folds, resulting in what will surely be an entertaining summer blockbuster with a powerful and unexpected effect of reflection on real world struggles of prejudice and ideological differences.

In preparation for the upcoming release, watch all the previous films and discover their powerful message again. Host a viewing party and dress up as your favorite mutant characters from the film and comic book series. Old favorites like Iceman, Storm, and Rogue will be reprising their appearances in the franchise along with brand new favorites like Quicksilver, Bishop, and Blink. The cast continues to grow and the question of whether mutants and humans could ever live together in peace gets far more intricate to unravel and extraordinary to explore.

April Fool’s Day: Disputed Origins and Prank Suggestions

Posted by Charles On March - 31 - 2014

April Fools Image


As innate as happiness, pride, and anger are in everyone, so, too, is the spirit of japery. We grow up pulling pranks on friends and family because we know they will forgive us for our silliness, and it keeps relationships fresh, especially in a time when routine dominates our lives. So it is interesting to note that there is a day devoted to jokery that is nearly universal all over the world: April 1st.

How is it that this solitary day has such an infamous reputation? What is its origin and how can be pull pranks using good old fashioned gags and humorous costumes? The answer is actually impossible to determine because there are so many different examples in history that may refer to it.

The earliest known origin comes from a festival known as Hilaria (Latin for Hilarious), which was celebrated by the Romans. Hilaria was celebrated during the vernal equinox in honor of Cybele, mother of gods. The laughter associated with the festival is related to the shift in seasons, from winter to spring. Considering everyone’s opinion on winter, who could blame the Romans? They didn’t have the luxury of winter jackets and oil heating.



Another origin would be the Feast of Fools, a medieval festival celebrated in several European countries for centuries. This holiday was known for its extravagance and role reversal. The upper classes gave brief power to individuals in the serving classes, making this a mocking gesture that served the purpose of condoning the behavior of “laughing at oneself.”

It’s very likely that the elaborate pranks pulled in modern day are influenced by these acts from the medieval period. Another well documented incident is the “Washing The Lions” incident, a prank played on unsuspecting victims during the 18th and 19th centuries.

The first ever recorded incident was on April 1st 1698, reported by the Dawks’s News-Letter. People were sent up into the Tower of London to witness the annual lion-washing ceremony, an act that seemed just as silly then as it does today. This prank was held every year on the same day for the next 200 some-odd years.

Early Illustration circa 1770 of kids tying a kite to an old man as an April Fools prank

Early Illustration circa 1770 of kids tying a kite to an old man as an April Fools prank



A modern interpretation of April Fool’s Day comes to us from the BBC and their reporting of “spaghetti trees” in 1957. The channel’s current-affairs program, Panorama, reported to British citizens a story showing a family in Switzerland harvesting spaghetti. At the time spaghetti was a rare in the UK, so many people sent in letters to the BBC asking how they may grow their own trees.

It is likely that the modern holiday was born out of a collective influence by all these events and countless others. Celebrating the day is entirely subjective, but here are a few suggestions for making your next office/family prank as unforgettable as the aforementioned events:

Couple wearing togas1) Create an elaborate memo stating that X-day (whatever weekday April 1st happens to fall on) now requires a casual toga dress code. Send this memo to everyone in the office except for one person. When he or she arrives at the office in regular attire, he or she will be flush with embarrassment and confusion.




Woman in Jester Costume2) If you’re a business owner and have an employee who tries too hard to achieve validation, we suggest starting a new Employee of the Month program. Award this employee with a phony plaque and the “Best Employee Honorary Costume.” A jester costume would be the best way to help the employee understand that he or she needs to relax and drop the act of uber-professionalism.





Silly Men's Aerobics Outfit3) Send a coworker to the dry cleaners to pick up an outfit for a job. Let’s say he or she must interview someone important in your stead, and let’s say this job is a great stepping stone in his or her career. The catch is that the outfit you sent him or her to retrieve and with specific instructions to wear happens to be a multi-color spandex suit. Simply say that the client is a gym rat.






Dumb and Dumber Suit4) No matter the woman in your life, you can absolutely fool her with your attempt to take advantage of a great sale. Pick up this suit  and explain to her that it is designer and 50% off. Make it known that this is the suit you want to wear to that “thing” that’s so important to her (prom, wedding, gala, etc.). Also, drop the tidbit about it having cost $500. It’s designer, so that’s a good deal.





Yeti costume5) If there’s still some snow on the ground and you are looking to remind someone special that spring is only temporary till the next winter, we believe this yeti outfit will do just the trick. You can hide in waiting and be winter’s fury back for one last pass. Your victim will never forget the day he or her was pelted with snowballs by a yeti.


Alfred Hitchcock Day Costume Party Ideas

Posted by Charles On February - 25 - 2014

Alfred Hitchcock Movie Poster Collage

When you get that movie itch, the specific one for psychological thrillers with characters whose motivations and thoughts are just too much, there’s no better place to go than Alfred Hitchcock’s mighty movie compendium. Find yourself in need to scratch that itch on March 12th, the eponymous Alfred Hitchcock Day, or in our circles, Halloween part II. Read ahead for movie ideas that would make fabulous Hitchcock theme party ideas.

Hitchcock Movie poster

While there aren’t any witches and werewolves to contend with in any of Hitchcock’s films, there are the truly dangerous minds of people. Dial M for Murder featured a tennis pro with a dastardly desire to be rid of his wife, and the lengths he goes to achieve his goal are truly horrifying. It is the people in these films, seemingly normal and well adjusted on the outside, that make Hitchcock’s movies brilliant and dressing up for a day-long movie party a real treat. The party will be similar to a Whodunit style bar event in a major city, the only difference being that you and your friends play the actors.


You need the right atmosphere and the right props to view films as traumatizing as Blackmail, and one of the most sophisticated would be a cigarette holder, perfect for all the dangerous females in attendance. And we mustn’t forget the importance of decade appropriate hairdos, especially the wildly popular one that made stars out of the women in Hitchcock’s films. The right dress can also produce in indomitable power in ladies who want to get their way, as can the accessories  that drive men wild. You see, Alfred Hitchcock Day is about the power of persuasion and how dangerous it can be in the right or wrong hands.

Hitchcock Costume Accessories

Use these costumes and accessories to create your own Alfred Hitchcock inspired costume for a Hitchcock Theme Party or for Halloween.

Men mustn’t worry about their costumes for this viewing party because a suit is the primary outfit of choice for nearly all men in the thriller game. If there is one thing that you absolutely need, it’s a fedora to fit in with the times. Trust no one because danger lurks in the most unlikely places, especially the only place for miles with the lights on. Norman Bates from Hitchcock’s most lauded film Psycho appeared normal, but we all know how that turned out. When someone’s lived his entire life under the austere rule of another, it’s no wonder that desperation acts out with violent  retribution. And lest we forget, danger also comes from above  and below. The characters in The Birds and Vertigo never expected fear to come from such unexpected places, but that’s the beauty of the mind; it creates against our will and twists even the most benign into horror.

Bates Motel Sign Halloween Decoration

Hitchcock possessed an imagination and keenness of human psychology that was unlike any other. So many months after and still so many till Halloween, you must be feeling that itch. You and your friends must satiate that desire for horror in a twisted game of your own devising. Dress the parts and create a party that will make you look forward to this day every year. If anyone begins to feel the need for malicious intent, like the character they’re dressed up as, make sure to keep him or her under lock and key. Hitchcock isn’t around to adapt the story of the party that went terribly wrong.


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