It's the beginning of September and I have already seen three Halloween stores open on the route I take to work. Three stores that sell nothing but Halloween costumes and Halloween accessories. Doesn't this seem a bit much?
I remember back when Woolworth's and K-mart used to set up Halloween sections for shoppers. If you wanted a Batman or Wonder Woman costume, that's where you went. And while you were there, you picked up candy for the ghosts and goblins that would be visiting. Blammo, you were done.
For the longest time, my Mom even made mine and my sister's costumes. I was Dracula the same year my sis was a ballerina. My Mom spent hours sewing our outfits from scratch and I wore that cape for years until it finally gave out. It lasted forever and provided hours and hours of pretend fun for both of us.
Other years, I was a hobo with a cobbled together ensemble of clothes from relatives, a geek with a short sleeve dress shirt and pocket protector and taped glasses, a ghoul with my own face make-up job and all black clothing. You get the idea. The costumes were easy and simple and cost barely anything.
But leave it to America to screw up a pagan holiday just as bad as we've screwed up the Christian ones. Everything has become so commercial that it makes me sick.
I understand now when people talk about the good old days. It's not the old days they're really referring to, it's the simpler times they represent. A time before a bloated American government. A time when a family could survive off one income and taxes were below fifteen percent (or non-existent) instead of the thirty to forty percent they are now. A time when four thousand square foot Halloween stores didn't exist.
Don't get me wrong, I love Halloween. As a kid, it was my favorite holiday and arguably still is. I mean, you get to dress up and go around the neighborhood begging for candy. And it is expected!! Well, not now that I'm 36, now I just dress up and go to parties. But the memories … we all hated the houses that handed out the fruit and dental hygiene and loved the ones that gave out the little candy bars. You remember them too, great times.
But three stand-alone Halloween stores in a small southern town? And these are just the ones I know about, I haven't even been to the mall yet. It's gotten ridiculous, the commercialism in America is out of hand. It almost seems like every store you go in has a Halloween section. Enough is enough. It disgusts me. And don't even get me started on the year-round Christmas stores. What's next, Easter stores? Candy-coated crucifixes? Ugh.
But don't fret, I've figured out a way to combat the plague of the Halloween store. This year, for Halloween, I will not spend a single dollar on a costume. I will simply go as a nudist. It will not be pretty, I assure you, and may actually work against my cause but damn it, someone must take a stand! Of course, October 31 is usually fairly chilly, even in the South, so I will have to wear a disclaimer taped to my chest explaining the effects of cold on the male genitalia.