How in­fan­tile to blow bil­lions on Hal­loween

The Week Middle East - - News - Kyle Smith

Amer­ica’s Hal­loween cel­e­bra­tions are get­ting out of hand, says Kyle Smith. It used to be just a bit of fun for chil­dren. But since the 1980s, in­flu­enced by the Hal­loween pa­rades or­gan­ised in San Fran­cisco and New York, more and more adults have started get­ting in on the act. In a poll taken be­fore last week’s cel­e­bra­tions, 48% of Amer­i­can adults said they were plan­ning to dress up for the event; and 16% – that’s 50 mil­lion peo­ple – said they were plan­ning to put a cos­tume on their pet. This year, Amer­i­cans spent an all-time high of more than $9bn on cos­tumes, sweets and other spooky-sea­son para­pher­na­lia. That works out at about $86 per house­hold, and com­fort­ably ex­ceeds the $6.8bn price tag of last year’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. “Hal­loween is blow­ing up be­cause child­hood is leak­ing fur­ther and fur­ther into adult life.” Video games (sales of which reached a record $30.4bn last year); comic-book con­ven­tions; su­per­hero movies; fan­tasy sports – they’re all symptoms of what the au­thor Kurt An­der­sen has dubbed “Kids ‘R’ Us Syn­drome”. “We’re los­ing our col­lec­tive sense of when it’s time to put away child­ish things.”

48% of Amer­i­cans dress up for spooky sea­son

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