Wednesday, December 20, 2017

I Went To a Christmas-Themed Con... AND IT WAS AMAZING

Two things I love (which will not surprise you): cosplay and Christmas. So when I learned there's a Christmas-themed convention right here in Orlando, I was SO THERE.

It's called Holiday Matsuri, and it's apparently been around for a long time, growing every year. It's technically anime, but that shouldn't stop you, local geeks: there's plenty of cross-over from all the fandoms, and the cosplay scene is amaaaaazing.

Of course John and I've been so slammed with party prep - and then party cleanup, ha - that we didn't get around to his costume 'til the very night before the convention. Oops. We were up 'til 3AM - John sewing his new vest, and me fashioning a sweater for Figment from a thrift-store find, a Santa hat, and lots of hot glue:

Seriously, this makes me so happy. 

(Here's how we made Figment, if you're curious.)

I even dressed up a little myself, though the only record is from my Instagram Story:

The flower pin is a poinsettia off one of our trees, and the headpiece is a garland swag from the front room. Also I'm wearing shiny combat boots with my socks folded over the tops. :D

We went all three days to HolMat, though only for a few hours each day. Both Friday and Saturday we went directly from the con to different Christmas parties, so it was a pretty hectic time. But let me tell you: WORTH IT.
I was afraid there wouldn't be much Christmas to the cosplay, or that everyone would only wear their holiday stuff on Friday, but you guys: THERE WAS SO MUCH. All three days, everywhere we turned, there were sparkly Santa hats, character-themed winter wear, candy cane lightsabers, wreaths-on-shields, velvet capes, jingle bells... SO MUCH.

 Festive Tinkerbell!

 And Deadpool... being Deadpool.  (Check out the candy cane stripes & curly ribbon on his boot knife, ha.) The gift box WAS attached to his crotch, yes.

This Borderlands group is ready for Mercenary Day:

And Joker and Harley look ready to curl up in front of a roaring fire:

Granted, for them the roaring fire would be from some kind of explosion, but still.

(We used the flash rig after Friday, so my photos will be a mix of phone shots, flash, and black-out flash. I tried some new settings this time, so bear with me as I'm still learning!)

It was so, so fun seeing how cosplayers added a little holiday sparkle to their costumes. Some just added a few touches, like this Bride of Frankenstein with tinsel in her hair:

... while others made entirely new costumes from scratch, like this Jack & Sally!

 Look at Sally's dress: the patchwork uses plaids & poinsettia fabrics! 
(Jack is on stilts, crouching down for us.)

There were gorgeous Christmas fawns:

And giant holiday dresses that left me drooling:


Moana added poinsettias to her headdress - yassss:

And while it's not really Christmassy, you HAVE to see this Tamatoa-inspired gown:

 Laura here has Maui's hook on her fascinator, and there are gold shells sewn onto the skirt! SO SHINY.

A perfect Christmas angel:

And Sonic having a blue Christmas:

Santa Batman (!!) and a holly jolly Wonder Woman:

 I love that she changed her blue shorts to green!

 My flash was too dark for this sparkly Tinkerbell, but I am completely in love with what it did to her wings:

The wings are iridescent film, which is mostly see-through in normal light. Just look at all that lovely purple! So cool!

There was lots (and LOTS) of Overwatch Christmas cosplay, which cranked my Overwatch withdrawal pains up to 11. [sob] Still, Zenyatta's sweater here cracked me up:

 It says "I'll Be Om For Christmas" using the Om symbol. Because Zenyatta is a Budhhist robot. YAY PUNS.

Then there's flight attendant Pharah with her "Coal Payload":

And a beautiful Christmas Angel Mercy:

Speaking of Overwatch, I found the most incredible Dragon-skin Symmetra:

I know it's the wrong holiday, but John worked 'til the very last few minutes of Halloween to get this skin, so it has a special place in our hearts. :D

Harley and Black Cat (Red Cat?) looking merry and bright:

Prince Charming's cape has a gorgeous lining under all that fur:
 And look how cute Cinderella is!

There were also a lot of cosplays of wintry characters, like this stunning Anna & Elsa:

 And here's the Snow Miser and Heat Miser, plus North from Rise of the Guardians on the end:

I even ran into the Grinch!

He was very put out at having to pose for a picture. I think my giggles were annoying him.

Jasmine and Belle in their holiday finery:

And prepare to drop a jaw over this historical Belle!


Now some Steven Universe lovelies:

 Lapis' wings really look like water! AMAZING. And I'm loving everything about Peridot's outfit.

I was so happy to find two of my Instagram friends as Rose and Pearl:

 That's mademdesigns & merricatonthemoon, both named Emily.
Aren't they the sweetest together?

After I took a few flash shots I asked to take one more with my phone, and of course THAT was the best one:

Did I mention these two are newly engaged? I CAN'T EVEN WITH THE CUTENESS.

 I love the matching Santa hats on these Star Trek ladies:
 And I think the tribble has reindeer horns? Ha!

Did this Sailor Moon find the best use of garland ever?

 I'm thinking yes.

DC Bombshells Stargirl and Supergirl:

I like how Stargirl added snowflakes to her goggles, and look at Supergirl in all red and green!

Here's Batwoman - also in the DC Bombshells design - about to teach Killer Croc a lesson:

 (Isn't that a great backdrop? It was out in one of the main lobby areas.)

Disney Fairies!

They're all so perfect!

Then this Christmas fairy sleigh'ed me (eh? EH?) with her adorableness:

 LOOK HOW CUTE SHE IS! So many great details, from her crown to her stripey socks!

 I of course took lots more photos, gang, but since I'm pressed for time I tried to feature mostly just holiday cosplays here. I'm still editing the rest, so I may do another photo post soon - and of course all my pics will be in my Flickr gallery later, so cosplayers, if I took your picture watch that space!


  1. Christmas and cosplay are a perfect combo! :)

  2. Now I want to come up with some awesome Christmas cosplay! I have nowhere to wear it .. but I want to anyway!

  3. That's probably the best Elsa I've ever seen. She looks Elsa come to life.

  4. I didn't know I needed Christmas and Cosplay together until now and I'm in love.

  5. (FYI that's Batwoman and not Batgirl towards the end there)

  6. You know, Jen, I've been reading this blog since the very beginning, and I just wanted to say how incredibly proud I am of you. At the beginning of this post, you talked about how excited you were to go to a con. I remember your very first! You told us about how you were so nervous and unsure and full of doubt. And now look at you! Going to cons like it ain't no thang. Having fun, taking incredible photos, taking with cosplayers, making friends! I don't know if you're aware of it, but you've come so, so far in the past few years. You should be proud of yourself. You're an inspiration, Jen. You really are.

  7. Great photos! I wish we had a Christmas con (or any con for that matter ;)) where I live. The two Emilys totally melt my heart <3. They're the cutest couple I've ever seen! <3

  8. Those new settings on the flash rig are working. I like these images so much more!

    1. Oh good! These brighter ones can be more work on the editing side, since more of the background shows up, but I do love that there are less shadows on the cosplayer.

  9. The Wonder Woman is also Dc Bombshells. They had statues come out for the holidays and she is wearing the outfit based on the statue. I’m not super how to link it in the comments or I would.

  10. OMG! We were staying at the Marriott during this con while on a family trip to Disney and Universal! We thought it was all anime stuff, we had no idea there was so much cool stuff going on down stairs, I totally remember seeing you, because I remember figment in a Christmas sweater, but I had no idea it was y’all! It was craziness!

  11. An entire Christmas-themed con?! That's it, I'm moving to Florida! Wasn't it enough you already had Hogwarts AND Disney World? That Sailor Santa is TOO adorable.


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