What Happened To Halloween?
Halloween has become as commercialized as Christmas. The traditional carved pumpkins which were prominently placed at the front of homes are now over shadowed with outdoor lighting and decorations. The (NFR) National Retail Federation (www.retailindustry.about.com) estimates consumers will spend 3.29 billion dollars on Halloween items. Every major industry is targeting consumers with products ranging from candy to home décor. NRF estimates that consumers will spend $840 million in decorations ranking Halloween 2nd in seasonal home décor spending. Costumes are no exception as sales continually increase each year.
Have we lost the true spirit of Halloween? Remember when your parents helped you create a costume. It was a great family activity that gave way to lasting memories. A time when parents and children worked together, creating the best Mummy, Soldier, or Vampire costume. Today it almost seems like an ancient art. Very seldom do you so see a child wearing a “home made” costume.
With most families having two working parents, it has become more convenient, to purchase a pre-fab costume. Is the price worth the convenience? On average costumes range from $25.00 or higher in price and are worn approximately 2- 4 hours. Would you purchase clothing for your child and then discard it after a few hours of use? Most of us would not. So why then are we inclined to do so for a Halloween costume?
Effective marketing has successfully attracted the attention of children who influence the purchasing decision of parents. Millions children will go trick or treating this holiday wearing the latest Halloween fashion and accessories, but not many will stand out in a crowd.
In the past you never knew what to expect when you answered your door on Halloween night. What creative costume would stand before you? Just open a magazine or go to the mall and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you’ll see before you even buy the candy.
If you would like to get back to the true fun of Halloween, making a costume can be easier than you think. Boxes are great items to use when making a costume. You can make robots, gift boxes, jack– in-the-boxes, and many others costumes out of a box and other easily accessible items. It is in-expensive and fun when you make and costume with your kids.
Even as adults we still reflect back on the great costumes we made with our parents. We laugh about some of the costumes we wore, but it is always a wonderful memory. Create a lasting Halloween memory with your kids by making a costume together.
About the Author: Jacqueline H. Blumenstock is the co-author of the “Browny Big Box Adventure Series." She admits incorporating into her writing the experiences she has shared with her two children. She is dedicated to helping children unleash their imaginative and creative abilities. She is a member of SCBWI & PMA.