With Halloween once again upon us on Thursday, I’ve got a confession to make.
I’ve never been a big fan of this particular holiday.
I’m not sure why. I’ve just never liked getting dressed up or putting any kind of makeup on my face.
Even as a kid, my costumes tended toward the uncomplicated. One year, I remember being The Green Hornet. Talk about simple: I wore a dark raincoat, one of my dad’s old fedoras and a simple mask.
Another year I went as a police officer. A blue suit, a white shirt, a blue tie and my Dad’s old New York City corrections officer hat did the trick. I think my mom might have put stripes on the sleeve with white medical tape to add a little extra element.
Things didn’t change when I grew up. At the occasional neighborhood Halloween party, I’ve had two go-to “costumes”: A striped referee shirt with a whistle and a gold Star Trek (original, of course) uniform shirt and a pair of black pants.
My wife Mary and I do very minor decorations at our house — just enough to let kids and their parents know they are welcome to trick or treat there.
The other day — I’m not sure why — I decided it would be fun to get a plastic pumpkin that lights up to put at our front door. When our youngest daughter — now 27 — heard about that purchase, she said: “Sure, now you get fancy for Halloween.”
One plastic pumpkin with a single light is hardly fancy, but I get her point. While we did go out trick or treating with our four kids when they were growing up, and Mary did come up with some pretty neat costumes for them — there was one Snow White outfit I remember being very cool — our kids mostly had uncomplicated costumes as well.
Plus, our home decorations usually were limited to two plastic pumpkins around the lights on either side of the garage door and maybe a few real pumpkins by the front door.
I know we’re definitely in the minority when it comes to playing Halloween low key.
According to the National Retail Federation, Americans planned to spend a near-record $8.8 billion this year on Halloween.
Our new pumpkin with light cost $15, so I guess we were part of that.
According to the economic website The Balance, the most expensive part of Halloween is costumes. Just under 70 percent of Americans will spend $3.2 billion on them, according to a National Retail Federation survey cited there.
Also according to that survey, the top five costumes for adults are a witch, vampire, zombie, pirate and Avengers characters. The top five for children are princesses, superheroes, Batman, Star Wars characters and witch.
A more recent trend — at least I think it is recent — is people, especially millennials, buying costumes for their pets. According to that same website, 20 percent did so last year, up from 16 percent in 2017. The most popular pet costumes, in case you are interested, are pumpkins, hot dogs, bumblebees, devils and cats (for dogs).
Seriously? Who would do that to their dog? How embarrassing!
We don’t have a pet, so that won’t come into play — but it probably will be the topic of another column one of these days.
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