Friday, September 22, 2006

Only 40+ Shopping Days Until Halloween

Permit me a grump or two. See that skeleton above? He was already at the entrance to the CVS drug store on Sept. 11. Guys, Halloween isn't until Oct. 31 -- more than 6 weeks away.

But I guess that is how it goes. The night of ghosts and goblins has been turned into one more major commercial holiday -- predicted to bring in $4.96 billion this year, up from just $3.29 billion a year ago, says the National Retail Federation.

So we can expect to be Halloweened to death for the next several weeks, with all manner of goodies -- such as the Halloween tree I found in a Gurley Street window last week.

I walked over to Fry's today and was greeted by this scene, as well as big aisle displays of candies, Jack O'lanterns and even costumes. No doubt there is even more holiday merchandise over at the Wal-Mart, especially for decorating the yard.

Turns out that decorating for Halloween comes in second after the Christmas/Hannukah holidays for spending on everything from tombstones and ghosts to lights and up-to-date high-tech spiders that walk and talk.

"This is all being driven by consumers," said one marketing person. "It's all about turning outward, and making yourselves known to your neighbors. Not to mention that the trend has spurred some healthy rivalry in neighborhoods, where homeowners compete for the biggest and most outrageous displays."

So All Hallow's Eve has evolved from a down home celebration where the kids carved pumpkins, Mom made costumes, the school held a fun carnival and everybody had fun -- into one more prop supporting our consumer economy.


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