Thursday, December 3, 2015

Top Five Reasons Every Family Should Play Dress-up

Playing dressup builds character. Or something...
For some reason, every Thanksgiving when the college kids come home for Thanksgiving things get a little crazy at the Sabo house. As the neighbors can attest, the traditional Thanksgiving soccer match has morphed into a spectacularly audacious dress-up affair.

Passersby probably think it's a flashmob of eccentric thespians congregating on the Sabo lawn. Surely somebody has called the county's 911 emergency dispatch center on us only to be told, "That address comes up as the Sabo house. The kids are probably playing dress-up again. Happens every Thanksgiving. Just call us if you see a 40something-year-old bald guy out there playing dress-up. We'll come get him."

The roots of this annual dressabration go back several years to our annual Thanksgiving soccer match that drew a host of Saboites attired in their parks & rec soccer uniforms. Then they started wearing shirts representing club teams and it grew from there. Until, well, as you see above THIS happened.

But beyond alarming neighbors and passersby, a family dressabration has actual, tangible value. It can be measured, in other words. Don't believe me? Oh, ye of little faith read on and be amazed! We present to you, the top 5 reasons every family should play dress-up on Thanksgiving and take the sartorial flashmob out to the front yard to flaunt your threadsilicious splendor.

5) It builds family unity -- What says family more than everyone dipping into the bag of swag some call the dress-up clothes bin to reach new heights of sartorial sumptuousness? Face it, some people never outgrow the need, the desire, the desperate addiction to playing dress-up. (It's ok. You can come clean. Go ahead and let us know in the comments section that you daydream about playing dress-up. Honesty is the first step to treatment for those of you addicted to donning princess dresses or Spiderman suits.) As each Sabo lad and lass appeared with their clothing creation, there was a loud cheering of siblings and a steady dose of encouragement and congratulations. It was impressive and truly a team effort.

4) It builds leadership -- Truth be told, there could be some reluctance among some of the more reserved -- sane? -- Sabo offspring to looking like a caveman, for example. That's where the true Sabo leaders step up and show their brothers and sisters what it means to be a Sabo. Which sometimes entails donning outrageous ensembles that are so sketch it would lead people to call the cops.

3) It builds creativity and imagination -- It would be a darn shame to go through life without letting loose your inner dress-up child. What's better than rummaging through the dress-up bin and finding outrageous combinations of duds to create a whole new persona? What's better than coming up with combinations that leave your brothers and sisters rolling on the ground in laughter? An imagination is a terrible thing to waist. Er, waste.

2) It promotes role playing to nurture depth of personality -- Childhood is too short to waist, er waste, on not cutting loose and getting crazy with the dress-up clothes every once in a while. Our kids have always loved role playing and creating an entire "town" of characters. (ICYMI: The game of "Town" -- Sabo style) They learn new ways to interact, developing accents and traits and becoming professionals and playing roles. I'm not gonna lie, it's fun to watch.

1) It encourages confidence -- Some of our kids can be pretty reserved and quiet. They're more behind the scenes types. But with the encouragement of the older kids and their other siblings, they truly go for it at the annual Thanksgiving bash and come up with some outrageous combinations of outfits. Cheered on by their siblings, they learn that they can't come up with a "wrong" combination of clothes and that they are only limited by their imagination. It's a blast to watch them go for it.

As I was writing this I came up with a sixth reason every family should play dress-up. This is far and away the most important: It makes some of the best memories. Oh, and you can dominate the Facebook feed with a family dress-up glamour shot.

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