Thursday, November 18, 2010

Halloween Must Evolve to Thrive and Survive

Many people voiced disappointment and discouragement about a few aspects of Halloween last month and also about its downward trend. Many mentioned that they had very few or even no trick-or-treaters, stores had Christmas running up Halloween’s ass on the aisles and TV had only a handful of channels showing horror movies.

Has America’s love affair with Halloween died out?

We may be a fairly conservative country, but nearly everyone gets a thrill the moment witches and bats, mummies and skeletons begin to show themselves on store shelves. There are some things about Halloween that are unique and must be considered when compared to other holidays.

Christmas is red and green, Santa and nativities, pine and lights. Easter is bunnies and eggs, chocolate and mass. Fourth of July is barbecue, flags and fireworks. If you exclude the fact people buy each other gifts at Christmas, Halloween is actually the most profitable holiday.

It supports:

Horror movies/DVDs/books/music
Party costs and products (you don’t have Halloween dishes and cups around the house, you must purchase special table cloths and accessories and props for such a party)
Props for home decorating
Haunted attractions
Pumpkin growers/farm festivals
Candy makers
Night club events

The evolution of Halloween depends purely on the timing of it. Halloween must be relocated to the last Saturday of October. Why?

Well, it’s not just for the children who won’t have school the next day and can go out trick or treating and having holiday parties, but it’s also for the adults. Friday night the adults can do their costume parties, bar hopping, haunted attractions and be home on Saturday night for the kids. The profits to be made are extensive compared to having such festivities mid week. Every year we agonize over when to hold a Halloween party because it rarely lands on a weekend and if it lands on a Friday, we are likely to not be able to go to a party of a night club event if that’s the night our kids must trick-or-treat.

When people can stay up and watch horror movies and get into the mood of the holiday without work looming over them the next day, television stations plan more exciting events for the “Halloween weekend” which would be the new buzz term.

America is great at selling the holidays and sales of Halloween will be a fickle thing so long as a holiday celebrated at night by children is held on a weeknight. Plain and simple. Move Halloween to the last Saturday of October and the bars, haunted attractions, candymakers, adults and kids all profit from something truly marketable.


  1. I think that makes perfect sense. Children could trick-or-treat before it gets dark enough to be dangerous, home safely with a sitter or somewhere else with a sitter; and parents could have time for their own Halloween fun!

  2. Yeah, I think we all (us middle-agers) talk about when we were kids and our folks just let us go in packs and be out until midnight with pillowcases to fill. I'd go miles away from home. Parents are just weird about it nowadays. I have no problem with the parents taking their kids out to ToT. I like to say hi to them and they like the decorations as much as the kids. This year, the parents crowded around the window oohing and ahhing. I'm surprised retailers aren't pushing a petition for this.

  3. I miss those days, as well. Packs of kids out having fun; despite the urban legends of razor blades, poisoned candy, and such. We were told not to eat anything until we got home; but we always did. Now I guess it's a different sort of danger parents worry about. I love parents that still take their children ToT; as well. I hope you gave them treats, too!

  4. Schools just need to be closed the day after, and that's something teachers have brought up for years.
    Kids are hyped up from sugar rushes the day after.
    Halloween doesn't need to be moved,
    and parents need to stop being so lazy, and have some fun with their kids.

  5. Sad but true. Halloween's faithful are smaller in numbers than ever. It is also the red heade step child to Christmas.

  6. MM;
    Hey, I wouldn't be in that reference about the redheaded child, would I? Cause Xmas can kiss my butt. I grew up with Norwegian Xmas and I never really got into the usual rituals. We did smorgasbord and opening gifts on Xmas Eve (who does that--the kid gets a gift and then has to go to bed)?? In fact, now that I'm single, I'm going to do what I wanted to do all along and celebrate the winter solstice instead.

  7. Halloween is just not what it was. As kids, we weren't allowed to even begin Trick or Treating until after dark. Now, by the time I get home from work at 5, the children are already done. The sick people out there who try to hurt children has taken away what was once a most joyous time of childhood. This year, the Duane Reade I shop at had very little in the way of Halloween goodies. Christmas things were out already in the beginning of October. I just wish things could be the way they used to be, but change is a part of life.

  8. Mary;
    I hope it's not a permanent change. I know that Americans probably get more excited about Halloween than anything, but with retailers, they know the cash is in Xmas. Now, if only we could get people to give out gifts to kids instead of candy, then retailers would be all over that. hee hee

  9. autumnforest...most of the parents i know should be like favorite holiday is halloween, partly because it's cheaper than Christmas!
    halloween WAS so much more fun when we were mary said...we weren't even allowed to trick or treat until it got dark!

  10. Libby-Girl;
    You know it! We didn't get ToT's at Aspen Grove, but no one was brave enough to walk up the very very long driveway in the dark, over the bridge, up the hill to the scary mansion. I did love raiding the neighborhoods though and one time my mom gave my older siblings the coolest Halloween party ever. Everyone donned black capes, made a procession through the long wisteria arbor to a big bonfire with a witch burning ceremony. I was kind of weird, but I remember as a kid, it scared me (and all the kids that attended).

  11. I'll support any pro-Halloween agenda.

    I don't dislike xmas particularly, but I was in the bookstore today and the holiday music was making me rage. I couldn't concentrate.

  12. I feel you direction, but I kinda look at it this way. Halloween is ONE DAY/NIGHT a year. Who gives a crap what day it falls on??? I can understand as far as the adult parties go, and usually the parties I've been to, are chosen the weekend prior. But as far as the kids go...IT'S ONE NIGHT A YEAR! C'mon folks! Let the kids go trick-or-treating, eat all the candy they can hold and puck the rest of the night and into the next day! When I was a kid, there was no "what day are we going trick-or-treating?" We went ON OCTOBER 31st dammit! Yeah, I'm a bit passionate about this topic. I just can't help it! It's my favorite holiday!

  13. Pangs;
    Hell, were you in my Barnes and Noble? I rushed out after picking out a fun board game called "Dirty Minds." I couldn't stand the Xmas music.

    The thing about H-ween is that it's not date specific. I can get Christians freaking about December 25th (though the date is freaking made-up), or people getting upset on 4th of July moving it to a weekend, but H-ween doesn't really have to do with a date so much as a season. It's totally adaptable like T-giving is.

  14. I like your way of thinking. The adults should have their day as well as the kiddies.

  15. Actually the county I lived in moved Trick or Treating to Saturday the 30th this year since Halloween was on a Sunday. I assume they thought that was better timing than a Sunday night before a school Monday.

    I didn't even know the local government had the authority to control when Trick or Treaters went out!

  16. I petition Halloween to be celebrated every day in the month of October. There needs to be a little something for the Satanist in all of us! Christians have December, we get October. It's as simple as that!

  17. Hey Sis, I agree that Halloween is a season! I just think for the kids sake, that one awesome date, no matter what DAY it falls on, should be left to them to have fun and pretend to be their favorite hero, scary creature, serial killer, et. al. LOL....I start celebrating Halloween come October 1st regardless!

  18. Ohh!! Look at all the fabulous ideas! You do like to stir things up! Personally? I see a lot of great pros and cons.

    I do wonder; does anyone have any ideas on how to stage a "Million 'Weener March?"

    "Tis the season for some candy..."
    "Trick or treating's mighty dandy..."


    Now.. it is time for me to adhere to the instructions of "the devil's handmaiden" who is clearly intent on if not killing me; severely injuring me. For my own good. Of course.

  19. Jeff;
    It was actually a friend living in a city that shifted their Halloween because of the weekend that made me ponder why we must do it on Oct 31.

    I agree, but those of us who live for Halloween celebrate it the whole month like people who love Xmas start on T-giving day and celebrate for a month. So far as the little boogers who want to ToT, a weekend night would be good so the parents don't ruin it for them.

  20. I have to respectfully disagree. I think the reason Halloween didn't do so well in the Trick or Treater dept., was because of it being on a Sunday, "The Lord's Day" (STRONG sarcasm). I've seen Halloween do very well on weeknights, and it will do well in the future! That being said, I can see and understand your side of the argument. It was pretty much luck that caused Halloween to end up on the 31st. It would be nice not have school the next day. But then again, in this world, you can't have everything.

  21. Autumforest;

    I love you, your bloggers; and clearly you shall put this issue to bed. I love you; AND your peeps dear woman. But you know me; things to do. Including go visit Dale!

    Forgot to mention; had no idea your Nordic. I actually have a few good friends who still follow the old ways. Of course; they must confess and repent every time they go to their Priest. HEE HEE!!!!

    Go girl! You are being who you truly are; and I, for one. Love you all the more for that.

  22. Brenda;
    I'm a real piece of work. I get a bee in my bonnet and I go to town. It's funny because with the blog I can pretty much be open-minded and say "there's validity in everything," but now and then commonsense has to step in and say, "well maybe that fuzzy thing in your photograph wasn't a fairy, maybe it was lint," and in this case, I felt like, "come on, we have a potentially profitable holiday and the US is screwing the pooch on giving it the credence and stability it needs. Hell, they put president's B-days and Memorial day and all on Mondays for a purpose--3 day weekends. So, why not play a shell game with a holiday not particularly tied to a certain date?