According to Lee Lusardi Connor:
Halloween has become way too commercialized, a multiday, spare-no-expense extravaganza. U.S. consumers are expected to spend $6.9 billion—billion—on Halloween this year. Halloween needs to be dialed back.
Some things about Halloween are just plain icky:
•The dominant imagery is gory and gross—zombies, blood, detached eyeballs, skeletons, deadly spiders, ghosts. Not only is it all quite unappealing , I’m sure these kinds of things are not healthy to dwell on, especially for young children.
•For females, costumes are not so much about masquerade fun as about sexuality. Sexy witches, sexy maids, sexy pirates, sexy cheerleaders and on and on. As Lindsay Lohan’s character in "Mean Girls" put it so well: “Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress up like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.” Your daughter may not be dressing like that—yet—but the costumes are all over the party store, and she’s getting the message.
•I’m sorry, but those blow-up Halloween lawn decorations are hideous.
•A huge haul of candy is the goal. Effects of too much candy include feeling sick, gaining weight and getting cavities. Not only are the calories empty, so is the meaning. At least the sweet treats of the winter holidays have the association of family recipes and traditions and togetherness. Halloween is just about enriching candy companies.
... Here’s a modest proposal: Just one party or celebration (trick-or-treating included) to mark the day, not in school. An honest attempt to include healthy, yet still fun, snacks in said celebration.
Alternatives to candy for the trick-or-treat bag: stickers, crayons, temporary tattoos, plastic Halloween jewelry.
Productive uses of excess candy; kidshealth.org has some good ideas for that.
A cap--$25?-- on the amount parents spend for costumes and paraphernalia.