The Scariest Part of Halloween Is How Much We Spend

baby devilYou know why Halloween is so awesome for people like you and me? The only thing we have to do on October 31 is have pure, unadulterated fun. There's no stupid gift buying, no stressful cooking, and no dealing with our sister-in-law's back-handed insults. I love your cubic zirconium earrings. It's all about costumes, stale candy corn, and getting the ever-living bejeezus scared out of us.

Now, wanna know why Halloween is so awesome for people who own costume shops and Party Fair-esque joints? We spend a ri-god-damn-diculous amount of money on this stupid holiday.

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According to the National Retail Federation, this year -- the year 2011, when the unemployment rate is around 9.1 percent -- Americans plan on spending a frightening $6.9 billion on costumes, glow-in-the-dark skull-type things, and "entertainment" related to October 31. And in case you were wondering, that’s more than double the amount from 2005, which was a paltry $3.3 billion.

Now, as I mentioned, I love me some Halloween. In fact, I'd go as far as to say it's my favorite holiday. But that seems like an awful lot of money. Especially for what you get: Crap. Christmas, okay, I get it. People are concocting elaborate light statues and buying fake snow machines and whatnot -- it's a spectacle to be seen. But Hallow's Eve? Don't most of us get our costumes (and our pets' costumes -- yes; that's $300 million of the $6.9 billion) in a cheap plastic bag? Or, better yet, make them ourselves? And as far as decor goes, well, isn't that stuff typically kinda chintzy, too? What do we have, some black and orange streamers, a pot of mums, and a plastic jack-o-lantern that gets tossed mid-November? Still not seeing the $6.9 billion.

Maybe there's some really rich section of the United States, where a lot of people just go nuts for Halloween -- smoking cauldrons, mechanical corpses popping out of caskets, the works. Or maybe, more likely, there's just a lot of people like me, who can't walk into a Target this time of year without buying something Halloween-related every time?

Do you spend a lot of money each year on Halloween? What's your biggest expense?

 

Image via BEE FREE PGrandicelli [the social bee]/Flickr

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