It’s that time of year again. Time for the marketers to sell you cheap Chinese products that your kids will use once and then throw away. It’s time to give kids loads of sugar and hope they don’t get any cavities. You can call me the grinch of Halloween, but I don’t get it.
To be fair, I’ve participated in Halloween many times in my life. I trick or treated when I was a kid. I went to a few Halloween parties as a young adult. And who can resist dressing their toddler girl up as a princess or an angel? Still, I’m a grinch about Halloween.
Halloween Is #5 On The List Of Most Expensive Holidays
For a holiday that’s not really a holiday, Halloween robs our bank accounts. Of course, Valentines Day is not really a holiday and it’s #3 on the list. But at least it celebrates love instead of ghosts and ghouls.
In 2016, Americans spent more than $8 billion on Halloween. That breaks down to an average of about $80 a person. Crazy! Maybe I’m just a grinch, but I’ve got better things to do with my money.
Now let’s consider what we’re buying?
- Cheap costumes: I give my daughter’s costumes to Goodwill every year, so maybe they get reused. But I have to wonder how many costumes just get trashed? And how much do you think that $50 costume is really worth? Maybe $10? Somebody is laughing all the way to the bank.
- Cheap decor: Just like the costumes, most Halloween decor is made in China. It’s likely made of substandard materials by people being paid unfairly. But we buy it and throw it away. Halloween is the essence of America’s wastefulness and throw-away culture.
- Sugar: We all know that too much sugar leads to health problems. Tooth decay, sugar diabetes, and obesity are all potential outcomes of too much sugar. Yet we push candy on our kids every year.
Call Me The Grinch, But It Just Makes No Sense
So here’s what I do most years to avoid Halloween:
- No more costumes: When my daughter reached the age of 12, I told her I was done buying her costumes. If she wants a costume she needs to save her own money to buy it.
- Minimal sugar: I like a little treat as much as the next person. But I make a point to limit the amount of sugar we keep in the house. Halloween is probably the only time you’ll ever find sweet chocolate in our house. And then it’s only in small amounts.
- Leave home: I know I’m a grinch, but I live in one of the busiest Halloween neighborhoods in our city. So I turn off all the lights and leave until 9pm. It kind of feels like I’m driven away from my own home.
- Do something productive: Instead of giving into a consumeristic holiday, I always try to do something productive. The last several years I’ve gone to a coffee shop and worked on writing. You’d be surprised at how quiet coffee shops are on Halloween.
I encourage you to limit your Halloween spending this year. If you have kids, be creative with costumes. Limit how much candy you buy. Say no to excessive Halloween decor. Or better still, just cancel Halloween this year.