The non-consumer Halloween

Halloween is fast approaching and with it comes many opportunities to spend money. The National Retail Federation predicts that 5 billion dollars will be spent on Halloween products this year.

5 billion dolllars!

Drugstores and grocery stores are flooded with Halloween products. Such as…

Halloween shot glasses


3 pack of shot glasses (one is never enough) in an acetate box (landfill bound)

Plastic tombstones


and of course Halloween lighting


The Halloween eyeball light set

Do we need these items to celebrate Halloween?


How do we stop the commercialization of Halloween? Simple, we need to stop buying Halloween stuff. If we don’t buy Halloween products, companies will stop making them.

<it’s time for the Wayback Machine>

My childhood Halloween memories include homemade or acquired costumes, community haunted houses, pumpkin carving and trick-or-treating with a brown paper bag. Decorations were practically non-existent and always homemade.

Does Halloween need to be any more than this?

In years past my kids have asked me to buy Halloween decorations: lights, spiders, plastic pumpkins…. “Come on Mom. Everyone else has them.” I politely said No (the ‘everyone else has them‘ argument doesn’t work with me).

This year my kids haven’t asked for Halloween decorations. Perhaps they know it’s hopeless to ask. Or maybe just maybe, they’ve come to realize that buying Halloween products is unnecessary.

Halloween can be fun without special Halloween shot glasses, plastic tombstones or lighting.

Have a Fun (non-consumer) Halloween!


  1. Here, here! Here’s a sadly funny Halloween tale–when I was a kid, my mother’s favorite costume for me was “the hobo.” Ragged clothes, a stick with a bandana tied around the end and some makeup to make me look grubby. I think that was my costume 4 out of 5 times.

    As an adult, I spent nearly a decade working with the homeless. Uh, yeah. Although my childhood costume was a frugal option, it was not the best choice in costumes! Oy.

    • I remember a lot of hobos and clowns growing up.

      I was a space alien one year – plastic butter container on my head with homemade aluminum foil antenna and bloomers. It was a horrible homemade costume that I can laugh about now.

      As an adult I don’t think I’m a space alien? But maybe I am. :)

  2. I don’t really understand the Halloween decoration trend; my memories also consist mostly of the great costumes my mom made for us (I have one of those crafty moms, and I didn’t get the gene, boo hoo); if we went to someone’s haunted house, the scary stuff was homemade (e.g., peeled grapes for eyeballs, cooked spaghetti for slimy stuff, etc.)

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