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Thu Oct 31, 2019, 10:11 AM

When did Halloween become a celebration of conspicuous consumption?

When I was a kid it was pumpkin carving, mostly make your own costume, a paper bag for candy handouts and if you were rotten shaving cream and occasional eggs. (Disclaimer, I never did eggs or shaving cream or any vandalism.)

Now it's billions of dollars of plastic and a bigger carbon footprint. Decorating nearly a month ahead of the schedule, way overkill.

What happened to keeping things simple?



UPDATE: Don't get me wrong, I enjoy/enjoyed it as a simple things in life. As many pointed out it's the OCD over celebrating.

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Reply When did Halloween become a celebration of conspicuous consumption? (Original post)
Throck Oct 31 OP
PJMcK Oct 31 #1
Wednesdays Oct 31 #2
tblue37 Oct 31 #26
mokawanis Oct 31 #3
2naSalit Oct 31 #18
redstatebluegirl Oct 31 #4
TheBlackAdder Oct 31 #5
Horse with no Name Oct 31 #16
madaboutharry Oct 31 #6
LakeArenal Oct 31 #7
Wounded Bear Oct 31 #8
at140 Oct 31 #9
Polly Hennessey Oct 31 #10
bigbrother05 Oct 31 #30
MaryMagdaline Oct 31 #11
llmart Oct 31 #47
treestar Oct 31 #12
braddy Oct 31 #13
Auggie Oct 31 #15
irisblue Oct 31 #17
RobinA Oct 31 #19
Auggie Oct 31 #21
Polly Hennessey Oct 31 #42
RobinA Oct 31 #46
Lars39 Oct 31 #22
braddy Oct 31 #24
LiberalLovinLug Oct 31 #29
UTUSN Oct 31 #14
Sneederbunk Oct 31 #20
Retrograde Oct 31 #23
Happy Hoosier Oct 31 #25
Mariana Oct 31 #34
demmiblue Oct 31 #36
sarisataka Oct 31 #39
Pacifist Patriot Oct 31 #43
Niagara Oct 31 #45
bigbrother05 Oct 31 #27
nitpicker Oct 31 #28
Siwsan Oct 31 #31
Mariana Oct 31 #35
Siwsan Oct 31 #37
Mariana Oct 31 #38
Siwsan Oct 31 #40
IcyPeas Oct 31 #32
WhiskeyGrinder Oct 31 #33
Blue_Tires Oct 31 #41
blogslut Oct 31 #44
cynatnite Oct 31 #48

Response to Throck (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 10:12 AM

1. Christmas in July? (n/t)

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Response to Throck (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 10:12 AM

2. Kids these days...

SMH

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Response to Wednesdays (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 12:41 PM

26. It's the adults, not the kids, who are the problem. nt

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Response to Throck (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 10:13 AM

3. This is America, goddammit

we commercialize and monetize EVERYTHING.

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Response to mokawanis (Reply #3)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 10:40 AM

18. +1

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Response to Throck (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 10:13 AM

4. Not sure but it has clearly gotten out of hand.

I am not a big Halloween person, we don't have children and neither one of us really got into dressing up and partying even in college. I have neighbors who spend a fortune on decorations for their house and costumes for themselves and their kids. We aren't even turning our porch light on tonight. We are going out to dinner at our favorite diner tonight.

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Response to Throck (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 10:14 AM

5. Look on the bright side. Most towns clamped down on trick-or-treating with times and curfews.

.

We used to get over 100 kids on Halloween. Now, we're lucky if we see 20 or 30.

Also, most houses now are giving the mini treats, so you have to hit scores of houses to get a small haul.


Then, there are those lame Trunk-or-Treat parking lot things that really turn it into just a candy grab with no exercise.

.

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Reply #5)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 10:32 AM

16. Our neighborhood will see 2000+ trick or treaters

We will have the Dallas police directing them through the streets and it will be a nightmare going home from work tonight.

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Response to Throck (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 10:14 AM

6. It is kind of sad.

My town had trick or treating last night. I thought the best costumes were the ones the kids made themselves. Beatniks, dancers, ghosts, hobos...they were all so cute. Well, there was one boy in a Santa suit. He was rather adorable.

I agree with what you said. Halloween was sweeter when I was a kid.

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Response to Throck (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 10:15 AM

7. It always was for us

My mom made great costumes, gave out full sized candy bars.

We didnít start in August but we had a very abundant day.

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Response to Throck (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 10:17 AM

8. Aren't all of our holidays "celebrations of conspicuous consumption?"

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Response to Throck (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 10:18 AM

9. Very simple explanation...........

You did not have cell phones when growing up.
And you did not have an iPad to play with.
Kids today have no spare time to make your own costumes.

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Response to Throck (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 10:19 AM

10. Something happened.

Halloween was once my favorite holiday. It was fun. Came home after trick or treating (I was either a ghost or a witch), sat on the living room floor with my sisters, and dumped the candy out and had a feast. We even got homemade candy/caramel apples and popcorn balls. I think the adults spoiled it.

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Response to Polly Hennessey (Reply #10)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 12:54 PM

30. In grade school, always had a carnival

Dad's club/sports boosters would do spaghetti supper and each classroom was done up with different games to win kitchy prizes or homemade baked goods.

Raised money to support extras for the kids and kept the community tight. Then kids went through the neighborhood to get candy.

Sure, it was the '50s/'60s, but every one had a blast. Yes, it takes a village.

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Response to Throck (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 10:21 AM

11. Another holiday stolen from kids

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Response to MaryMagdaline (Reply #11)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 08:50 PM

47. That sums it up nicely.

The adults have co-opted Halloween for themselves. My kids absolutely loved Halloween when they were little (they're both in their late 40's now). Costumes were always homemade. They'd come up with the idea and we'd help them make them. There was always a carving of the pumpkin with a real lit candle inside. We lived in the best neighborhood for trick or treating. They talk about it to this day.

Everything in this country has to be over the top.

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Response to Throck (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 10:24 AM

12. Less time

Mom works. Kids have lessons and this or that. We bought costumes sometimes back in the day but some were made. Dad liked being creative at Halloween. Made little brother and his stroller into a train engine !

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Response to Throck (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 10:26 AM

13. Today's adults are childlike and they no longer simply administer child events, they more and more

take it over and immerse themselves in it as the principals.

Me,me,me, and I am forever young and hip.

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Response to braddy (Reply #13)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 10:32 AM

15. To answer the question then, probably the 1980s ...

and I agree. It was the Boomers.

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Response to Auggie (Reply #15)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 10:37 AM

17. Martha Stewart in the 80s

The craft boom, the stores with decorating stuffs, HGTV. It got bigger & bigger.

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Response to Auggie (Reply #15)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 10:51 AM

19. What????

This Boomer made her own costume until we moved to a place where there was nowhere to Trick or Treat. Then I made my own in college for parties. No parent, working or not, had anything to do with it. My sister's (Boomer) kids (millennial) made their own, with her help, elaborate costumes that they designed and figured out how to make work. It's where you put your values. Living life for the travel soccer team is a choice.

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Response to RobinA (Reply #19)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 11:56 AM

21. Sorry -- let's say, "the Bad Boomers."

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Response to RobinA (Reply #19)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 02:20 PM

42. The Boomer plea.

It wasnít me, it wasnít me!

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Response to Polly Hennessey (Reply #42)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 08:35 PM

46. Oh Darn!

You found us out! We really are all powerful and responsible for everything! Our cover is blown.

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Response to braddy (Reply #13)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 11:58 AM

22. Went into my bank today.

Every single employee was dressed as a Dalmatian. Weird

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Response to Lars39 (Reply #22)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 12:06 PM

24. Yep, that ridiculous display is meant for their adult customer base, modern, infantile America.

See how hip, youthful, and with the times we are.

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Response to Lars39 (Reply #22)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 12:51 PM

29. I think its actually a good thing for both employees and customers

Not the waste, as brought up in the OP. But any excuse to have a day to break out of their boring mundane stiff and proper workday and let loose and dress up, is mentally beneficial I think. Whatever the excuse. And it also puts a smile on customers faces. Breaks everyone out of their normal reserved behaviours, to open up, connect with other humans in a unique way.

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Response to Throck (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 10:31 AM

14. It's being a *long* day with every t.v. show "cute-ing" itself out - unsuccessfully

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Response to Throck (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 11:56 AM

20. Thanksgiving and Easter just don't cut it.

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Response to Throck (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 12:05 PM

23. In SF, the Halloween parties in the Castro

became big in the 1980s. Then adults in general celebrating Halloween just seemed to get more and more common.

ITA that the over-decorating for various holidays has gone way over the top. My neighborhood is festooned with that gauzy fake cobweb stuff, and plastic skeletons, and those accursed motor-driven inflatable blowup pumpkins that make we wish I had a nail every time I walk past one.

I give props to one household that put up a giant rope spiderweb one year, then decided to keep it up and add new accessories for other holidays. The stuffed bunnies in the web around Easter were a bit much, though.

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Response to Throck (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 12:36 PM

25. Geez.... so many killjoys!

I love Halloween. I love the costumes. I love the decorations.

I carve a portrait pumpkin of my daughter while watching cheesy moview every year.... a fun tradition.

Several friends throw parties we attend.

But yeah, people having fun is apparently bad?

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Response to Happy Hoosier (Reply #25)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 01:12 PM

34. I'll grant that lots of the decorations are tacky as hell.

It's getting to be almost as bad as the fugly Christmas crap that people feel compelled to put out. Still, it's fun and phooey on anyone who squawks about it.

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Response to Happy Hoosier (Reply #25)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 01:23 PM

36. No kidding.

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Response to Happy Hoosier (Reply #25)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 01:48 PM

39. It's not that people are having fun

It's that they are doing it wrong. Fun is only allowed if it matches the fun had in days gone by, viewed through a several decades thick nostalgia filter

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Response to Happy Hoosier (Reply #25)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 06:44 PM

43. Did you see what Representative Porter did today?



Voted dressed as batgirl!

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Response to Happy Hoosier (Reply #25)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 08:29 PM

45. Welcome to DU, Happy Hoosier

I'm with you. I love Halloween, the costumes, pumpkin carving and decorations. I'm one of the weirdos that thinks about Halloween all year round.

I've already decided to make my own 7-8 foot scarecrows next year for the outdoor decorations, these will be a new addition to my yard. Halloween will fall on a Saturday next year, so I'm hoping that the weather behaves.

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Response to Throck (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 12:45 PM

27. When Hobby Lobby realized they could make a buck instead of Satan?

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Response to Throck (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 12:50 PM

28. I think it's a "farewell to T-shirts day"

And "farewell to skimpy costumes" day.

((As opposed to the old British tradition of "kill what you can't keep over the winter".))

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Response to Throck (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 01:00 PM

31. I hardly get any trick or treaters, anymore

When I was a kid, we used to go out for hours, and covered pretty much the whole of the town's subdivisions. Our pillow case candy carriers would be filled. And, yes, NOBODY wore store bought costumes. We were pretty resourceful and clever. The best candy was handed out by the funeral home, and the Catholic convent and rectory. They ALWAYS seemed to have full sized candy bars, because so few kids knocked at their doors. (At that time, the local funeral director, and his family, lived upstairs from the 'family business'.

The neighborhood I'm in, now, used to be filled with kids and cars. When my aunt and uncle lived in this house, he would sit on the porch, non-stop handing out BAGS and BAGS worth of candy. Generally there were between 150 and 200 kids..

The first few years I was here, I'd get between 50 and 60 kids - sometimes a few more. Last year, when it was a perfect night for trick or treating and I had several big bags of really good candy. I ended up with MAYBE 15 kids, and a sugar rush.

This year I bought one bag (got a great deal) of some brand name candy but it's raining, and there's a wind advisory so I'm really not anticipating any little ghosties and ghoulies, which makes me very sad. But it's candy I like so that mitigates the sads.

Hopefully the kids are all going to 'trunk or treat' parties, which are safer, anyway. But I sure miss seeing the little ones in their cute costumes.

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Response to Siwsan (Reply #31)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 01:19 PM

35. People are terrified that their kids will get poisoned treats

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Response to Mariana (Reply #35)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 01:25 PM

37. The kids that trick or treat, in my neighborhood, are almost always accompanied by parents

I think the fear, now, may be more about the person handing out the candy, than the candy itself.

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Response to Siwsan (Reply #37)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 01:37 PM

38. Apparently that's not any great danger, either.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #38)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 02:08 PM

40. Probably not. Parents are likely just being overly cautious.

I used to take my niece and nephews trick or treating, but mainly because I had so much fun with them. We'd go on a very abbreviated version of the same streets I used to roam, on Halloween. I also did their costumes and make up, and charged them a chocolate bar(or two) as "payment".

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Response to Throck (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 01:01 PM

32. $1.98 outrageous prices

(I love the decorations... pumpkins, skeletons, spiders, webs, spooky stuff)

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Response to Throck (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 01:05 PM

33. This thread is hilarious.

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Response to Throck (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 02:10 PM

41. When they realized it didn't just have to be for kids anymore

and could be marketed to adults as "Mardi Gras/St. Patrick's Day Lite"

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Response to Throck (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 06:57 PM

44. Sure, there are people who spend way too much on Halloween.

Then again, I'm willing to bet there are a whole lot more who spend just enough.

People like me, like my mother and mother before her, we re-use holiday decorations and maybe add/replace a couple of things over the years. I like decorating for Halloween. I still buy candy, even though I can count on two hands the number of kids what knocked on my door, the last 30 years.

If something makes people happy and isn't hurting anyone else, I'm cool.

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Response to Throck (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 09:54 PM

48. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc...

That can all be said pretty much every holiday.

If people have fun with it, let them.

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