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Wednesday, October 28, 2009



Halloween has always been a big boost in retail sales. The holiday comes in second to Christmas shopping.

julie power

I feel your pain. Halloween has turned this mommy into a witch of grand proportions. I am happy to find another Halloween scrooge, or the Boo Humbug if you may.

Friday is my deadline for work, and somehow I volunteered to organize the mummy toilet wrap game at school. Now I am wondering why school spends half a day on the parade and the party.

Isn't it enough that the kids run amok on Saturday night for the real thing? Plus there are a series of parties and parades in our neighborhood, all involving numerous levels of costuming and preparation. Meanwhile, an outing tonight to CVS resulted in a huge haul of candy ... a large amount of which has been consumed by my seven year old boy twins, who then acted like demons on drugs and have only now gone to sleep. I am typing in the dark ... ready to scream like a witch at them if anyone ever murmurs again ...


I'm amazed at what Halloween has become. When my kids were small, in a suburb of Paris, we celebrated Halloween with the other American family in the village. The neighbors' kids were always envious. Now their kids have "Alowine," described by Peter Mayle in a NYT op-ed last Sunday. Sweden has adopted Halloween, too. This seems like a shame because Swedes used to celebrate All Hallows' Eve, when tradition had people returning to hometowns to place candles on the graves of ancestors the evening before November 1, All Saints Day ... so very different from the commercial enterprise you describe here.


I'm sure it's partly just an artifact of commercialization - where there's a buck to be made..

But I also wonder if it's partly that Halloween is (with a few exceptions) a holiday that everyone can participate in. That is, it's not tied to a particular faith tradition (setting aside its origins) and so schools and neighborhoods can (generally) set up Halloween activities without fear of excluding people. (Did I qualify that sentence enough?)

My kid is only 16-months and has never tasted candy, so we can still keep things pretty low-key. Thank goodness.

Plus, he refused to wear the costume I got him for the one party we went to. Luckily, I know this kid, had thought he might do that, and also got him some glow-skeleton pajamas that I put on him instead. Win! We'll try that costume again next year (it's sized 2-4, so hopefully it will still fit.)

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