Halloween is coming. New England does it well. Decorations, parties, hayrides, haunted houses, trick or treating, it all happens. My online activities tell me people aren't the only ones observing Halloween, though. Marketers, companies trying to sell me things having nothing to do with the occasion, all advertise "spooktacular savings," from automobiles to copy paper and clothing. Some stores will have extended hours, hoping I'll decide to shop rather than eat candy corn and greet neighborhood children.
I am going to resist these offers, out of loyalty to tradition and an effort to curb my personal consumerism. I am protesting with my wallet! I want to see Halloween remain a time to celebrate the end of the harvest, to act silly, to enjoy scaring myself and then laughing about it. I want to see kids enjoy being someone (or some thing) else for an evening, monster or princess. I will indulge them in candy, hoping their parents will put a halt to the high-sugar nonsense the next day. And I want to carve a very fine pumpkin I've been storing up for the occasion. I'll make it as fierce as I can, knowing this is the one night we can afford to let ourselves be startled.
I want to pass a toilet-papered yard and congratulate the kids who had fun doing it, while being satisfied that no real vandalism was committed. I hope the people singled out for this seasonal decoration appreciate the humorous surprise they'll find the next morning.
But I won't shop the Halloween sales, not of non-Halloween products. They may pop-up on my computer, or send flyers to me in the mail, but they won't see my money this year. Marketers seem to have Christmas, New Year's, and the other holidays pretty wrapped up, and I'm working on my personal habits with those. I'm not going to add Halloween to the list of consumer practices I have to conquer!