The Price of Halloween

According to this article on (, Americans will spend an estimated $5.8 billion on Halloween this year. The National Retail Federation indicates that people are going to spend about 18% more on Halloween this year than last, totaling about $66 per person. The break out is approximately $24 for a costume, $20 on candy and $20 on decorations.

Are you kidding me?! $20 on candy?! $20 on decorations?! And PAYING for a costume?!

When we were kids, we always dressed up as gypsies: pulled out the ‘dress clothes’, put on an old wig, lots of costume jewelry and a fancy scarf, and have big red rosy cheeks. Even my brother. Cutest little gypsy ever! Every once in a while, one of us was allowed to wear something that made us look like a pirate. Or a gypsy pirate, really. Candy? Big bag of suckers. Since we didn’t like suckers, every last one got handed out. And decorations? Decorations were simply the already-fallen leaves in the yard and carved pumpkins; nothing more, nothing less. Oh, and flashlights. Back then, that was plenty!

So what happened? When did this change? I’m not going to get into consumerism and how that’s changed over the years, blah, blah, blah. I think the focus is more about losing perspective. Wasn’t Halloween supposed to be a time for the kids to play dress up and hang out on a school night collecting candy that we would not normally ever let them eat? And didn’t the parents walk in groups themselves? Warm drink in hand; far enough away to let the kids have fun but close enough to comfort them when they tripped and fell.

The past couple of years have taught us a lot about scaling back, minimizing and becoming good neighbors again. We’ve been working on putting things back into perspective. We’re getting there; slowly but surely, we’ll get there.

This year, I think we’ll be gypsies and hand out suckers. Yea, that sounds good.

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