‘Tis the (Halloween) Season

This post is written by Mr. Carmichael (Yes, that Mr. Carmichael!) over at Building Blocks. You’ll soon find a similar post at Mrs. Braidwood’s Ripple Effect and Mr. Ferneyhough’s Chili Sauce, too. Huzzahnians, I will be sending you to these blogs to comment and connect with our Valley neighbours. Visitors, please feel free to comment here or visit the blogs above and spread the blog luv around!

Do we just want to have fun? Or are we greedy?

Do we just want to have fun? Or are we greedy?

Halloween is this weekend. Regina’s Leader Post has some interesting information in its article.

  • Americans are prepared to spend $5.8 billion dollars on Halloween this year.
  • Two out of every five Americans are planning on wearing a costume this year.
  • The money will be spent on candy, decorations, and costumes for adults, children, and pets.
  • The average American will spend $66.28 on Halloween this year, even during these tough economic times.
  • This makes Halloween the second biggest money generator for Canadian and American businesses.  Halloween follows behind Christmas and leads Back to School for most money spent.

This raises some interesting questions for you to ponder….

Do these statistics surprise you? What do our spending habits around Halloween say about us as a culture?

Are you looking forward to Halloween? What has been your very best costume?  What is your favourite candy treat?  Do you eat your candy all at once or do you ration it, only eating a few pieces of candy a day?

Looking forward to your spooktacular comments!

Image: Candy Domo by matoutah

71 comments

  1. @Mrs Smith
    Hello it’s Kaylee from Mrs Braidwood’s class and I’m in grade 6. WOW the cost of costumes, decoration and candy has gone up so much. My best costume is the one I’m wearing this year. I think halloween is fun for any ages and there are only 3 days until halloween!!!!!!!

    1. Hello Kaylee,
      Sounds like you are excited about Halloween! My students are too. Yes, the cost of many things has gone up. I wonder how much of this growth is due to kids and parents to want last year to be bigger and better than the last. What do you think?

  2. Hello! what interesting facts! Who knew that Americans spent so much money on Halloween? Though, that fact doesn’t surprise me considering the decorations I see on my way to school. I am very excited for Halloween this year, because my costume is the best I have ever had, so far. I am going to be a bag of jellybeans! To be this I am going to fill a plastic bag with colorful balloons and wear it! My favorite candy is well… jellybeans!
    Keep blogging!
    Clara

    1. Well, hello! Nice to meet you Clara. I just love your costume idea–will you be able to sit down? What I like about Halloween is the creativity people show in their costumes and decorations. I prefer homemade costumes, but even then there is a cost at times. I love it when little kids come to our house trick-or-treating. Happy Halloween and thanks for stopping by!

  3. I think that the facts that you have posted are very interesting. They can make you really think about how expensive Halloween can be. I really enjoy following your blog.

    1. Thank you, Alex, for the compliment. It’s great to meet you on this blog. It is pretty striking when the statistics about how much money we spend are presented. I wonder if we were creative how we could spend our money and time differently. What do you think? Thanks for visiting us. You and your classmates leave very thoughtful comments.

  4. Wow that is very surprising! My favorite snack for Halloween is Jolly Ranchers. Who knew Americans spent so much money on Halloween? I wonder why Christmas is the most expensive holiday? Probably for all the money spent on presents.

    1. Hi Andrew, my daughter loves Jolly Ranchers, too. I suspect you are right about Christmas. It also lasts a lot longer as holidays go, and there is often travel involved. Hope you have an exciting Halloween!

  5. I love how you put all of those facts about Halloween. I’m much more educated about Halloween now. I am so excited for Halloween too!

    1. I was grateful that my friend Mr. Carmichael shared the statistics, Elizabeth. I would not have guessed that Halloween was such a big money generator for businesses. I too am excited for Halloween–pumpkin carving tomorrow!

  6. This is an interesting statistic. It surprises me a lot. Who knew that Halloween would be so expensive for so many Americans? I think it is cool that you would think to research this or even find that statistic.

    1. Hi Dylan, the interesting thing about blogging and being online is that we can link to information of all kinds. We have to be thoughtful about it, though. It’s important to think about the source of the information and what the statistics mean. That’s why I put the caption on the picture. Are we greedy or do we just want to have fun–or is there something else all together about these statistics. What do you think?

  7. I didn’t know that you spent that much money on Halloween. I can believe it though, from all the money spent on costumes, candy, and Halloween decorations,I’m surprised there’s enough money in the world to get all the Halloween supplies.

    1. Hi Caitlyn, consumers (that’s all of us, really) do make interesting choices in our spending. When I was young there were no costumes to buy–people made them. I remember the first time I saw a store-bought costume–I was so surprised. The only real Halloween decoration was a carved pumpkin. I wonder what would happen if we spent less on Halloween. Would businesses suffer? Or would we spend our money on other things? What do you think?

  8. my favourite Halloween candy is crunchie chocolate bar. I’m being a cupcake! Yes I’m very excited for Halloween! I think it is very silly that we spent all that money on just a holiday.

    1. Crunchie bars, Celina? ME TOO! Love that foamy, crunchy, toffee bit. How did you create your costume? Spending money may be silly, but we do it. The question is why. Have a spooky Halloween night!

  9. Hey Mrs.Smith! I’m Ryan from Mrs.Braidwood’s class. I can’t believe it follows behind Christmas! Halloween only has candy and decorations, and $5.8 must mean A LOT of people have decorations! I guess we all love to have fun!

    1. Hi Ryan, $5.8 billion is $5 800 000 000.00–it is a crazy amount, really. I wonder what the breakdown would be. I haven’t spent money on decorations other than the pumpkin, so my money goes to candy. I do love seeing little kids on my doorstep and teasing older children. I really love seeing creative costumes. Yes, it’s true we love to have fun, especially when it’s dark and dreary. Maybe we should have a second Halloween in January!

  10. Hi I’m Kyra from Mrs.Braidwood’s class. That’s a lot of money. $5.8 billion dollars! Yes theese statistics do surprise me because we could be using this money for more important things such as food. What this says about our culture is that we like having fun and trick or treating.
    I can’t wait for Halloween it will be so much fun. My favirote costume I’ve ever had was when I was six I was a witch. My face was green. My favirote treat is anything with chocolate. I try to save my candy but I end up eating it all at once. What’s your favirote treat?

    1. Hi Kyra, I have to say I really like Crunchie bars, followed by Jolly Ranchers. I must admit I hardly ever eat milk chocolate bars as I prefer dark chocolate. Human beings do make interesting choices. This year I went as a “candy coated smarty pants” (I stapled Smartie boxes to myself!). I try to save treats, but generally if they are in the house, they get eaten! Have a great Halloween, Kyra!

  11. I think it’s silly how we spend that much on Halloween. We could be helping alot of people in the world but it seems that when Halloween comes we just forget about everything else that’s important.
    Also I think we spend a lot on the Olympics.I know everyone loves it but it’s one of those things when we stop thinking about the world. Personally I dont like the Olympics.
    What Halloween says about our culture is we like to have fun and there is nothing wrong with that. I don’t have a favourite costume that I wore but my sister had a homemade costume that was Doc Ock from Spiderman one year.
    When I first get my candy I eat as much as I can but then I get full and give the rest away. I haven’t bought a costume since I was 6 and we live in a neighborhood where trick or treaters don’t come so we don’t spend any money on anything.
    Do you make all your costumes yourself too?
    What do you think about the Olympics?

    1. Hi Lexi,
      I can tell you are a very thoughtful person. Do you think people can enjoy something like Halloween and still consider what is important? I know many people had mixed feelings about the Olympics–many enjoyed the opportunity to meet people from around the world and see exceptional athletes, while others find the expense extreme. I must admit the marketing of “stuff” (Olympic rings and mascots on everything) made me a bit crazy.
      I like homemade costumes, but sometimes buy parts like wigs and make up. This year my witch costume has gone missing so I got a new blouse and skirt at a second hand store for $1.98.
      Hope you have fun on Halloween night, Lexi!

  12. Yes these statictics do suprise me a bit. I did know that we spent quite a bit of money but not this much. I am so exited for Halloween. My favourite thing about Halloween is dressing up. The best costume that I have ever had would probably be this years costume. I am being a leperchaun. I really don’t eat all of my candy at once because I am scared that I’m going to throw it all back up. My favourite Halloween treat is a Mars bar or a caramel. Now I have a few questions for you. What is your favourite Halloween treat and the best costume you have ever made/bought?

    1. Josee, I am with you on the not gorging myself on candy plan. I hate feeling sick to my stomach (I spent a year being sea sick so I avoid that feeling!). We had a few leprechauns at our school, but I was disappointed none of them told me where the pot of gold is.
      Crunchie chocolate bars are my favourite, and my kids are pretty good about turning them over to me. I once helped my son go as a road –yellow tape on his black clothes. He was so proud.
      Have a fun Halloween night, and be safe, Josee!

  13. Hello Mrs. Smith. My favourite candies are chips, pop, and chocolate bars. I can’t beleive the Americans and Canadians would spend that much money on candy, decorations and costumes for there kids and their pets.
    I only eat 2 candies when I am trick or treating and I eat some of my candy before bed. I think the point of Halloween is to have fun and dress up cool, cute or funny.
    Hope you have a fun Halloween!

    1. Hi Chevy, the thing about chips is they get in my mouth. If the bag is closed, the chips are safe. As soon as the bag is opened, though–POOF! they disappear. I find the dressing up part is really the best–it brings out an alternate personality. I hope you have a fun Halloween, too!

  14. Hello, Mrs. Smith!
    Wow, that is alot of money spent on all of that Halloween stuff! MY family never spends one penny on anything except for a bit of candy that we hand out. I think the North Americans must spend more money than anybody else in the WORLD!!!

    I’m totally looking forward to Halloween. My favourite type of candy would be…. hmmm…. ummmm…CARAMILK! I really like the costume I’m being this year! I am being FUNKY GIRL. Funky girl is what we made up because we don’t really have any other good costumes. At our house we mix up some of our dance costumes and clothes from our house.

    Last year we decorated our house so well that our house actually looked like a haunted house. My mom tells us to save up our candy if we want any candy for later in the days! I think that is a good thing though!

    1. Hi Kaley, I really like the idea of being a Funky Girl. We had a few kids who looked quite funky at school on Friday.
      I, too, like chocolates with gooey centers. I have always wondered how they get the goo in the middle…
      I think your mother is a smart woman who tells it like it is: if you want candy in the weeks to come, don’t eat it all at once!

  15. Hello Mrs.Smith:
    That must be a waste for Americans spending 5.8 billion dollars on Halloween candy, costumes and decorations every year. I wonder if Canadians spend the same amount. My favourite candy after trick or treating is taffy. It is so good. It even melts in your mouth.

    1. Hi Gregory, I am betting Canadians spend about the same per person. We aren’t that different from Americans in our spending habits. I really like salt water taffy–I haven’t had any in a long time. I too love the way it melts in your mouth.

  16. Yes,I am surprised becuase that is close to a trillion dollar bills. That is a lot of cash spent. WOW most people can’t afford that much.

    My Ninja costum is the best.

    My favorite treat is Doritos cheese flavored chips.

    1. Hi Kyle, Ninjas are pretty cool– I like their surprising versatility. Hope you get a lot of Doritos Halloween night!

  17. Hi my name is Aiden from Mrs.Braidwood’s class and I think we are spending lots of money for Halloween decorations. We are spending 5.8 billion dollars for decorations. I think we could use that money for more useful things like food for those who don’t have lots.

    My favourite costume was being a zombie. My favourite candy is probably some sort of gummy. I do not eat all my candy in one day. I eat some candy each day and I donate all my hard candies to a poor country. It’s something my mom does every year.

    1. Hi Aiden, I am a big fan of zombies. I like the fact that any one of us can speak zombie language. Watching body parts drop off is quite entertaining.
      I like gummies, but hate getting goop in my teeth. Guess that’s why I have a toothbrush!

  18. Dear, Mrs. Smith
    The thing that I am looking forward to is getting lots of candy. I always bring 3 pillow cases and I always get at least 2 of them filled up.

  19. Mrs. Smith,

    You did a very good job on writing this topic! I found it suprising how now Halloween is one of the most lucrative holidays! It actually suprises me.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Robynn

    1. Hi Robynn, your teacher wrote this post, and three other classes are sharing it, including mine. I am glad Mr. Carmichael shared this interesting information.

  20. Dear Mrs. Smith
    Wow its crazy how much money is spent in the U.S on Halloween junk. And its only one night of the year. Almost everybody has lost the Halloween spirit. They have electric skeletons blow up costumes although its cool it’s also fake. Thanks for asking the question.

    1. Hi Marshall, you make a very good point. Cool but fake. I wonder if we are losing our creativity because it is just easier to go out and by things?

  21. Dear Mrs. Smith
    I am Ally from Mr. C’s class. I think it is amazing how much money people spend on Halloween decorations, costumes and candy. I think my best costume was when I was in grade one and I was an elf. I think Halloween is fun for everyone from the toddlers to grow ups, it’s very fun.
    From Ally

    1. I agree that Halloween is potentially fun for everyone…I do love greeting kids of all ages at my door (unless they are rude). My favourite thing is when four year olds come to the door and stop to look at what I dropped into their bags. It’s all so new for them. Hope you have fun trick-or-treating!

  22. I am Abi and I am from Mr. Carmi’s class. I really like the title of you blog and the picture that goes with it
    These statistics don’t really surprise me because Halloween is a big deal to most people. My family doesn’t really do much, this year will be our first year not giving out candy or going trick or treating. The spending for Halloween shows that our country is very enthusiastic about Halloween and other holidays. A bad thing about all the spending is the candy, unhealthy foods can cause health issues if you eat too much.
    I am looking forward for Halloween because my family and I are going out for dinner but it will be different because I am not going trick or treating. Also, we aren’t handing out candy. I find there is no point in going trick or treating if you are going by yourself. I had to do that last year and it was not fun. Very best costume ever was when I was in grade 1. I was Pippy Long Stocking and my hair actually stuck up in L shapes. Like hers did. I won best costume at my old school.
    ABI 🙂

    1. Hi Abi, that’s a very thorough analysis of Halloween! Much of what we do around Halloween leans toward excess. We seen motivated to have things bigger and better than the year before, which has predictable consequences. Yes, going trick-or-treating by yourself is pretty dull. Enjoy your dinner out, Abi!

  23. Dear Mrs. Smith
    I’m Kelsey. Those facts totally surprised me. The one that surprised me the most was the one on candy, costume and decorations. I never knew how many people bought Halloween stuff and spent that much money on it. Other holidays I knew how much money got spent just I never knew on Halloween. My parents don’t really spend much on Halloween, we’re more Christmas. Also I think this was my favourite costume this year, I was a rock punk. And my favourite treat would have to be Kit Kat and Oh Henry, it usually takes me about 3-4 weeks to finish my candy.
    Thanks bye Kelsey

    1. Hi Kelsey, I suspect most families do wind up spending more on Christmas, but I am still surprised that more is spent on Halloween than back to school, which can be quite expensive with shoes, clothes, and supplies. Kit Kats are great for sharing, aren’t they? Have a fun Halloween night!

  24. Dear Mrs.s

    Thanks for asking us such an interesting question! I do find it shocking that people spend billions on Halloween ornaments! I think it represents us as supersticus people who spend so much money on one holiday. I am looking forward to Halloween because of the CANDY!!I am not one too ration candy I just eat it all and hope for more next year! My favourite candy is coffee crisp even though my mom calls it coffee crap.My best costume has to my phantom one, I had glowing eyes and sang Hanna Montana. I mean costume’s for dogs what is that?

    1. The interesting questions came from your teacher, Mr. Carmichael. I wonder if you are in the majority as a non rationer of candy…I will have to ask my class about that. Ha, Hanna Montana as a phantom–pretty entertaining. Thanks for dropping by, Connor.

  25. Dear Mrs. Smith,
    It really surprises me about the amount of money people use on Halloween. I think people should just reuse their decorations and costumes, or make homemade costumes, so they can save money. Anyways, good luck with your blog, and I love the picture you used in your post!

    1. Hello, Tyra. Thanks for the compliment. I think we forget about the potential for recycling around our costumes–a monster can become a zombie and a princess can become a fairy. Good reminder. Have a spooky Halloween!

  26. Dear Mr.Smith
    I love Halloween and always have! How much money is spent on Halloween blew my mind away because I always thought that it was one of the smaller holidays but when you wrote that people were spending more money on Halloween then back to school I was amazed. It would surprise me so much if Halloween passed Christmas on how much people were spending. My family personaly spends not that much money on Halloween. I think that this is going to be the best year of Halloween I will ever have because we are going to be playing truth or dare while we trick or treat. I am so excited about trick or treating with my friends. My favourite candy type is Coffee Crisp and Kit Kat because they are a bit crunchy. I do not eat all my candy at once like most kids my age. I eat a little bit every day so my candy can last longer. It lasts about two mounths before all my candy is gone. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Anthony, I too love Halloween. My first memory of Halloween is from when I lived in Germany as a child. Europeans do not dress up for Halloween, so we got some confused stares as we walked over to the house of the only other Canadian family in the village. I hope the dares you take while trick-or-treating don’t compromise your safety!

  27. Dear Mrs. Smith,
    My favorite costume was a bedsheets ghost a very cheap costume that doesn’t cost $66.28. Once when i was trick or treating a got literally a bag full of smarties my favorite candy. What spending money on holidays means we care for each other and like to spend to make others happy or we just like to party! Very excited for tomorrow it Halloween.

    1. I like the cheap costumes myself. And a bed sheet can be easily seen, which is a bonus. I think you sum it up perfectly: “we care for each other and like to spend to make others happy.” This is a positive view of generosity. Thanks for stopping by, Logan!

  28. Hello,

    My name is Sophie. Here in Austraila we don’t really do anything for Halloween. Withch is really quite sad
    :(. But on the up side we save $66.28 a year!

    From Soph!

    1. Hi Sophie, I know that Halloween is not held in most of Europe either. I imagine that it must appear quite strange from a distance. When it is winter in Australia (our summer) what do you do to add a little excitement to your life?

  29. Hi
    We don’t do any thing for Halloween over in Australia but we still have Halloween costumes around that time of year. I don’t know why we do. It would be pretty cool if we did celebrate Halloween. The thing I want to know is what do you do for Halloween? Do you go to school on Halloween?

    1. Yes, we do go to school on Halloween. It is a secular, silly holiday, and we have a lot of fun with it. In the afternoon we play games and have a little party. I like seeing the creative costumes best of all. Thanks for visiting!

  30. G-day! You guy’s use heep’s of money for halloween sound like your enjoying your self.
    I’m from NEW SOUTH WALES sydney ausralia
    But you may know me as one of Mrs.P students from allstars.

    Bye

    1. Hello Sioeli from the AllStars! The important thing to remember is that there are over 300 000 000 people in USA. I know the summer is on the way in Sydney, so I hope you are anticipating a toasty warm holiday. Take care and thanks for visiting!

  31. Hi,

    I think that that picture is really cute!!
    By the way I am researching blog ideas for my class’s blog if you have any suggestions please let me know. Thank you.

    1. Hi Kirsten, I think you and your classmates are on the right track. My suggestion is to read and comment on blogs. Think about what the blogger is saying and consider the advice here on Mrs Yollis’s blog about writing quality comments. That truly is the best way to start.

  32. These statistics are really shocking. Should we really spend this much to scare people? I didn’t get to go trick or treating but I did get some candy (Reeses peanut butter cups, they are my favorite.)

  33. I didn’t know people spent so much money on Halloween.I wonder if people spend more money on candy or costumes? I love Halloween but my favorite holiday is Christmas. Hope you had a Happy Halloween!

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