Can you believe the Halloween aisles this year? The amount of stuff grows every year. First more costumes, then more candy, then more decor and this year, well, aisles upon aisles of more blinking, talking, light-up, smoking stuff.
Obviously, we as consumers are buying. The aisles would not increase in size and number if we weren’t. I need only look down my block to see the evidence- strings upon strings of pumpkin lights, dismembered hands coming out of pots, plug-in pumpkins, mini graveyard plots…
All of which we are excited to visit come Halloween night. My point is not one of judgement, but one of curiosity. At some point all this consuming, all this ‘more’ mentality, will have to end. Won’t it? I mean if we all create our own haunted house extravaganza, where is the fun of visiting more of the same at every house down the street?
Halloween, to me, is epitomizing our excess. Instead of one pumpkin to carve and one candy to give, one costume to decide on and one night to celebrate, we have come to a place where we all have a party of pumpkins, give out a handful of candy, and wear a couple of different costumes to a couple of different events.
I am not immune. We have 3 pumpkins (plus a couple gourds), a skeleton whose eyes light up, a dress-up box full of costumes but still I agree to buy Kaya another one, and enough candy to give out 2 per kid plus plenty to eat after…
But I am beginning to question it all. Wonder why the need for so much.
Perhaps it’s because I have been purging closets the last few weeks, trying to rid our house of excess, that I don’t want to now add another box, simply for Halloween stuff that is out for a week.
Or maybe it’s because we don’t have the money to spend on these extras.
Or maybe it just all feels like it’s too much. I mean, there have always been the families that have been Halloween crazy. The ones who go all out, not because they can, but because they LOVE it. I love that they love it and I love that we can then take a night and visit their effort.
All this to say, “No Kaya, NO! I am not going to buy pumpkin lights or flashing bats, even if everyone else does!”
As much as she may not think so, she is not so hard done by. She got her coveted rainbow bug (turned witch) costume since I know it will get well-worn (and already has been!)
She got a party of pumpkins, because Bal loves carving himself some crazy cool jack-o-lanterns.
We will be decorating our door, but with paper and crafts already in our house.
I will buy some glo-sticks, because I’m a sucker for getting creative with glowy things.
That’s really it actually, getting creative…
We are so busy buying spooky things, that we are forgetting that one of the greatest things about Halloween is using our imaginations to get creative with it. Rare are the homemade costumes or stencil-free pumpkins. Spaghetti guts in tupperware have been replaced with plug-in bowls with disco lights smoking while terrifying music oozes out.
Kaya and I have not had discussions yet on consumerism, over-consumption and wants vs needs but she is learning these things every day in the choices we make. As much as she sees all those aisles, I want to ensure she knows her creative side too. So she helps me make my Mary Poppins costume and cut out our door monster and create our own oozing monsters.
Because there is just something deeply satisfying about doing your own thing, upcycling from things on hand at home, then having it be AWESOME that makes you question the need to buy so much more.
(And since I ranted on as I did, see next post for our crafty Halloween science fun that this post was supposed to be!)