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I blame retailers for enabling my pre-Halloween celebrations

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There’s nothing wrong with the way I grew up. I rode backwards in the station wagon, we only had two TV channels and Halloween only lasted one day. We made our costumes, carved our pumpkins, and trick-o-treated all on Halloween night.

When did people make Halloween a month-long celebration? And by people, I mean me. And by a month, I mean three months.

As soon as the last fireworks light up the sky on the Fourth of July, I start thinking about Halloween. I’ve been known to come home from the fireworks display and surf eBay for costumes.

Retailers are total enablers when it comes to my penchant for prematurely celebrating the holidays. They think they are being so sneaky by stocking the Halloween candy on the top of the shelves above the school supplies, but I see it. I know it’s there.

I heard somewhere that candy manufacturers start making Halloween candy at Easter and Easter candy at Halloween. So, by the time the candy gets to the store, it’s already six months old! For some reason, the thought of eating six-month-old candy doesn’t bother me. I start buying bags of Halloween candy the minute it hits the stores. It’s a labor of love I perform for the children. I like to test all the candy before I hand it out.

Costumes have changed a lot, too. I remember my fairy princess costume consisting of my mom’s pink nightgown and a crown made of tin foil. I never had a store-bought costume growing up. I’m not complaining. Half of the fun of Halloween was dreaming up costumes from what I could find at home.

I haven’t followed suit with my own kids, though. Not only do my kids have store-bought costumes, but they also have Halloween outfits. That’s right, Halloween outfits! Again, I blame the retailers. They’re making them and I am buying them!

Inevitably, the Halloween t-shirts are worn a few times before the actual day of Halloween. I don’t buy any Halloween t-shirts with orange on it, that way they can be worn longer. After Halloween it becomes just a cool, gray shirt with spiders on it. See how that works? It’s brilliant, I know.

Things have also changed for what you collect your candy in. Do you remember collecting Halloween candy in a paper bag or the pillowcase off your bed? Now they sell glow-in-dark Halloween pillowcases! Who are the marketing geniuses coming up with this stuff?

Which reminds me, I made the mistake of only buying two glow-in-the-dark pillowcases and I have three kids. So, I’m off to get another pillowcase, a couple more bags of candy corns and nuts… and some Christmas cards.


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  • comment avatar Ameen Dahdah October 31, 2007

    Don’t be such a weaking. Have an original thought. If you want some one to blame look in the mirror

  • comment avatar Kayelyn October 31, 2007

    Fun post Annie. However I do buy Halloween shirts with Orange. I must break the trend and start my own, by wearing Orange throughout the year. It is one of my favorite colors.

    Have you tried the mil maid caramel candy corns? They are divine.

  • comment avatar Tama October 31, 2007

    Yeah for Halloween! I feel the same way you do! I remember, as a child, Halloween was a one day event. Somehow–with a little help from marketing people–I’ve managed to make it as big as Christmas, just without the presents. I do make the kids create costumes from what we already have at home, though. I figure there is enough junk around here that it shouldn’t be hard to come up with something.

    Tama at

  • comment avatar No Cool Story October 31, 2007

    Halloween t-shirts?
    Really? Pictures!!!

  • comment avatar Carrie October 31, 2007

    I couldn’t believe it when I saw that the stores were putting out Christmas stuff the same time as the Halloween stuff. I was going to boycott the stores and not buy anything Christmas until after Thanksgiving. That lasted up until two days ago I bought a new wreath for my door.

    Ameen DahDah, I don’t blame anyone but myself.

  • comment avatar Tori :) October 31, 2007

    I buy Halloween outfits too. And socks. But we usually try to make costumes from what we have around the house- or hand-me-downs.
    I, too, am the official Halloween Candy Tester for the month of October, in my house. (Ok, August and Sept. too….)

  • comment avatar Aimee Greeblemonkey October 31, 2007

    LOL, funny post. Yay Halloween!

  • comment avatar Nanette October 31, 2007

    Oh ya, ditto. 🙂

  • comment avatar Melissa November 1, 2007

    I try to make the costumes, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Baby Girl MADE me look at all the Christmas stuff yesterday when we were getting some last minute Halloween decor… she’s a tyrant like that.

  • comment avatar Catherine November 1, 2007

    I bought next year’s halloween outfits today, because they were 50% off. But my kids are fans of the layered t-shirt look, so they’ll wear the shirts for months.

  • comment avatar Annie November 1, 2007

    Atta girl! I love after-holiday clearances. I like to buy up the non-edibles to use for next year’s celebrations.

  • comment avatar Nancy Face November 1, 2007

    As I read, I kept thinking, “Me, too!” Great post! 🙂

  • comment avatar JeanKnee November 2, 2007

    Halloween should be as long as you can possibly make it, with as much stuff crammed in as possible, amd it should be celebrated again during that long,boring, no fun Holiday stretch from Easter-Halloween…yes there is fourth of July but it only seems to last one or two days

  • comment avatar elasticwaistbandlady November 2, 2007

    So here’s my strategy. I don’t have a lot of decorating money. I buy my wreaths at Kroger’s grocery store, for goodness sakes. So, I eschew anything too Halloweenish looking and I go straight for non-descript pumpkins, haystack, angels in fall colors, etc. so I can set up that stuff in September and make it last until a week after Thanksgiving.

    taking down Halloween decorations to put up Thanksgiving stuff is for suckas!