Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Spending

The National Retail Federation estimates that Americans will spend the following for Halloween in 2011:

Total Halloween expenses—$6.9 billion (that's more than twice the amount Americans spent for Halloween in 2005)
Largest Halloween expense—$2.5 billion for costumes
Amount spent on candy—$2 billion

The research also shows that Halloween isn't just for kids anymore. In 2011 nearly 70 percent of adults plan to hold their own celebrations for Halloween.

Off the top of my head, I can think of at least three factors for this accelerating trend:

Lots of adults wanting to have a good time (less charitably put: another excuse to party and drink).

Aging Boomers not letting go of their youth.

Secular holidays and their celebrations/spending are replacing religious holidays. Christmas is, for all intense and purposes, a secular holiday in the minds of most Americans. Even Easter has been slowly taken over by the Marshmallow Peeps Brigade (Full disclosure: I love marshmallow peeps).


Assistant Village Idiot said...

Check out the adult costumes. Halloween has become another sex, booze, and chocolate holiday - as the others are.

Retriever said...

I hate Halloween...Because I hate buying a ton of fattening candy not knowing how many Trick or Treaters will come to the house, then being FORCED to eat all the leftovers and gaining weight...(OH, how I suffer!). Actually, we have adorable munchkins who walk from house to house in our neighborhood that I always enjoy seeing, mostly wearing homemade and/or dress-up box scrounged costumes so it's not that bad. No grownups in costume (around here, it would be considered extremely tacky). Our church sometimes has an anti-Halloween party to give kids a chance to prance around in innocuous costumes.

I was always appalled by the demons and Freddie Kruegers and young hookers, etc. I saw in my kids' elementary school classes, tho. My kids got mad that I wouldn't let them be vampires. But they mostly went as pirates or D and D characters or other characters from their fantasy adventure books, or ROman legionaries or Robin Hood or the like. We had a few years of fancy masks (rubber chimpanzees with fur, and dragons and StarWars, but they had to improvise the costume parts.

I let my kids participate in these secular holidays, but tried not to make a big fuss of them.