Is Halloween A Trick Or Treat?
According to statistics, each year the celebration of Halloween in the United States pulls in about $6 billion in revenue. Between costumes for adults and kids, décor for homes, and candy sales, Halloween ranks number seven on the list of “Biggest Spending Holidays.” With Thanksgiving right around the corner and Christmas not too far behind, is celebrating Halloween a trick or treat?
According to The Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center, Halloween is the time of year when ghosts mingle with the living. I, for one, have no cares or concerns about that. In our home, we practice Christianity. We do believe in spirits, but not to this capacity. Our participation in the holiday is not about dates with the dead.
That being said, who does not like a random night of dress up, lots of sugar, laughing kids, and maybe a party or two? We enjoy Halloween, because it offers us yet another time to have fun as a family.
Growing up as a kid, I loved putting on my costume and trailing our neighborhood for free stuff. My neighbors would give out free candy, chips, pencils, toy rings, and all kids of cool things. The stuff was more like a bonus with the best part of the night being the door-to-door jokes and quality time with my favorite cousins. Who can say “no” to staying out late for a play date on a school night? Of course we did not call them play dates back then.
As a college kid in New York City, the Village Halloween Parade was a big deal! We would leave the campus as a group of 10 – 20, but by the end of the night we all prayed everyone made it back home safely. I always ended up returning with at least a few members of the original crew. However, our state of being was not the same as when we left. Drunken nights and taking pictures with random adults in silly costumes all across downtown NYC are memories I’ll never forget.
Growing up, I reused the same costume for years and most of the money spent in our home went to Halloween candy for our stoop. As an adult, I have spent on average $50 a year putting together my Halloween look. I have been everything from an Afro Disco Diva to a Sexy Vampire and my favorite, a Geisha Girl, with respect not humor or offense. I have gone to parties, parades, and I have had many quiet years of just passing out candy to the kids from the steps of my childhood home.
Now, as a mother, I love pre-planning what my young children will be. Last year, not satisfied with the selection for infants, I made my daughter a butterfly costume. This year, I want my five-month-old to be something really cute like a bumblebee, which I know I can find in the store. As for my 20-month-old, a beautiful princess costume has caught my eye, but the $90 price tag is really hard to justify. I think I’ll probably make hers again.
We will be taking our glee to a relative’s house for a kid’s party. With little babies, it’s easier for us to go somewhere we can sit indoors and still engage in all the fun. Between the kids’ costumes and our donation to the party, our family of four will spend about $100 on the holiday.
Is this a trick or a treat? I don’t know. What I do know is that watching my oldest daughter dance and my youngest daughter smile while simultaneously snapping pictures and admiring the wonder of it all with people I love is priceless.
Trick or Treat!
Clarissa Joan is a spiritual life coach and editor-in-chief of The Clarissa Joan Experience. She resides in Philadelphia, Pa with her Husband, their two girls, and a yorkie named Ace. Clarissa is also an expert in impact investing. She is the Communications Associate at Impact America Fund.