This is the year of the costume for more than 40%+ of Americans. At least that’s what the National Retail Federation’s research is telling us. And with Halloween upon us during these tougher economic times, dressing up—or down—may be one way to have some truly affordable fun. Just be sure you know what your mask covers, or exposes, about your personality. Your choice of costume isn’t random and may show more of you than you want.

Since the 1950’s when “trick-or-treating” and mass-produced costumes became a centerpiece of this “holiday” originally rooted in the Celtic Festival of Samhain, we have put on masks to escape, entertain, and even revel in feeling frightened. The “type T’s” among us, the thrill seekers, especially enjoy the ghosts, goblins, haunted houses and terrifying movies associated with Halloween.

Halloween is a “flip-flop” holiday for children, an inversion, where they turn the familiar parent-child role upside down. They demand and receive all of the candy and sweets they want from adults, dress up as adult characters and lead their parents by the hand from one home to next demanding even more treats.

So what “should” you be for Halloween? If you are a trend watcher, then Elsa, Anna and Kristoff will lead the way, Frozen Fabulous will be at the top of the list for kids, followed by Mad Minions and Black & Bone. Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and the ever present Teenage Mutant Ninja Mutant Ninja Turtles are going to be all over your neighborhood. Disney Princesses, Maleficent, the ever-popular superheroes, Buzz Light Year—they are all going to show up at your front door.

So what does your mask say about you? For those of you who have spell-binding personalities, aren’t afraid to tell it like it is, and like having power, try the witch costume.

But if you want to show your hipness, cover your insecurities, have a real need for everyone to know your name, show your pop culture knowledge and your self-appointed VIPness, then you’ll be Lady Gaga, Cleopatra or Mad Men’s Don Draper at this year’s party.

Nobody who knows you will really buy you wearing an Angel costume. Don’t even go there. Too holy and you come across as unsocial and untouchable.

Sexy characters like the French maid, hot nurse, or some other sexy costume theme? That vixen in you wants to be let out, at least on Halloween night. You may simply be expressing the healthy and timeless struggle between being pure, chaste, and holy and a sex kitten who wants to be the center of attention.

Going the group route for this year’s party? Jersey Shore gang? Mad Men? Mario All-Stars? Chips and Salsa’s couple’s costume? Well, well, well, you are telling the world you belong, that people like you and you have friends. You are a real groupie and enjoy the security of fitting in.

Like having pure fun and want to leave your serious work-a-day side at home? Then you’ll be donning a comic/cartoon/clown costume for sure.

While Erma Bombeck told us that grandmas pretend they don’t know who we are on Halloween, the real truth is that we may not know who we are on Halloween. And it was Mark Twain who said, “Everyone is a moon and has a dark side, which he never shows to anybody.”

But our masks, costumes and the kind of thrills we expose ourselves to on Halloween can give it all away. So, think about the information you will be giving away about yourself when you attend your office Halloween party, your friend’s yearly Halloween blast or just stroll through your neighborhood with your kids trick-or-treating.

For me, the scariest thing about Halloween is the amount of sugar and sweets our kids will be eating! After all, dental disease is likely the most common chronic disease of childhood.

Forget the kids…what about us adults? Remember that just 5 miniature Reese’s peanut butter cups have 220 calories and 13 g of fat. Think you can work it off? Running will take 17minutes to burn those miniatures off, swimming with take about 15 minutes to burn them away, and you’ll need about 26minutes of lifting to shed those calories.

Best to be sure you eat before you go out trick or treating with the kids, have very clear intentions and agreements of what you’ll do with the collection of goodies the family comes home with to avoid nibbling your way into unwanted weight, and perhaps even arrange for a system to “buy-back” the goodies from the kids with prizes in lieu of all that candy. Then again, it’s a fun holiday, so indulge a bit. Tomorrow there’s always a top notch

Happy and safe Halloween all, no matter how foolish we look in our ridiculous costumes. Remember Lady Gaga’s meat costume…really????