Halloween – Is It Just Another Commercialised Event?

Halloween is done and dusted for another year. Did you participate? Is it a big thing in your area?

And the big question – why do you participate?

Every year on my local area mums’ Facebook group there is much discussion in the lead-up to Halloween, wondering about the whys and why nots of participation. Many people who don’t like to join in thought that it really was just another commercialised festival and they were having none of it. Fair comment.

So let’s talk about that. You can read my thoughts and research into Halloween here and here from the past couple of years. As I was growing up, it was not an event that was celebrated much at all. But things have certainly changed!

The shops have a wide variety of decorative items readily available. And there is obviously a market for it, so it would be very poor business sense for them not to. Of course they want to make some money from it if they can! Just like all the other festivals during the year where people like to decorate. Personally, I think they would make far more from Christmas merchandise, especially since it has been in the shops since September!

But, like every celebration, it’s up to you if you want to spend your hard-earned money on the commercial products.

In this day and age, it’s probably safer to have shop-bought, wrapped lollies to give as treats. And wouldn’t you know it, but the shops come to the party and discount most of their lollies. I bought all ours from Aldi this year, at a cost of around $15. (Mind you, I have made popcorn before, which I divided up into individual cellophane bags. Very minimal cost, but a large amount of time and effort.)

As for the decorations, a bag of spiderweb for $2.50, a bag of small plastic pumpkins $2, some decorative tinsel/balloons/solar lights for a few more dollars…all can be re-used (apart from the balloons!).

Of course, you can spend the big bucks on ghostly statues, giant spiders, talking witches or whatever….or….

…get onto Pinterest and see what you can make yourself, to have your house looking different from everyone else! (You can check out my Halloween Pinterest board here.)

I’ll show you some of what we have:

Lots of funny signs, that I’ve printed off the internet, or made up myself. I’ve laminated ours, but you could put them in a clear document protector to keep them clean.

Halloween signs

These bats fly across our front windows. Again, printed from the internet, and laminated

Halloween bats

Here are the bats on the window. And that black curtain – plastic garbage bags cut into strips.

Halloween bats 2

One of my favourite spots is the graveyard. Headstones made from cardboard, and a couple of the cheapest bags of potting mix. Although I will need to update those for next year, they are looking a bit sad now.

Halloween garden decoration . sawitdidt.wordpress.com

This year, I added a bit of a Pokemon theme – I know, but I knew it would be appreciated 😉

As a surprise, I put these together on Monday, and there was much excitement when our schoolboy got home! Who knew a few paper lanterns could be so special! Meet Pikachu, Gastly, and Gengar:

halloween-pokemon

The bits of cardboard came from old party decorations and games that I have kept so we can use the backs.

The Pokémon will be added to his Pokémon-themed bedroom, near the Pokeballs also made from paper lanterns.

An old sheer curtain did a great impression of a ghost. I’ll have to work on that next year, maybe a balloon for it’s head…

halloween-ghost

I added to the curtain effect this year. I studiously ripped up two old sheets that were destined for the rag bag, and I like the way they turned out…although I need to find a better spot for them next time.

halloween-curtain

But I can’t hang them across the front door, because we quickly came up with this:

halloween-door

Again, the cardboard we used was the back of old birthday party decorations.

But my favourite new spot is this tunnel. It’s actually getting in early for Christmas, and I was inspired by the Light Tunnel at this year’s Vivid festival, but I made it work as a spiderweb tunnel for Halloween! There’s a few more Pokémon characters stuck in here as well.

halloween-spider-tunnel-day

And here it is at night:

halloween-spider-tunnel-night

So, along with the Halloween-themed music I had playing, I think we had a fairly unique display! And while we do have some commercial decorations, mostly I used things we had around the house to create our own.

I was so surprised by the huge number of children (with their parents) out Trick or Treating on Monday night. I’m sure it was many more than last year! But when I talked to a few people who didn’t decorate/participate, they didn’t have anyone come and annoy them by knocking on their door. So I think people understand that not everyone is interested in this event, and that is perfectly ok. And there is no ‘trick’ part to the Trick or Treat, at least around here.

But for us, we love to decorate our house and ourselves. And we love getting together with friends and walking around the neighbourhood seeing what ideas and costumes everyone else has come up with. Fresh air, good company, plenty of entertainment, a good amount of exercise, and a few lollies thrown in. A few eaten as we walk around, the rest saved and eaten over the next week or so.

So, while Halloween is not a traditionally Australian celebration, we are a multi-cultural society and we are happy to join in with Chinese New Year, St Patrick’s Day, Bastille Day, and various other events. And if you choose to include (or completely bypass) Halloween in your annual celebrations, then that’s totally up to you!

Community spirit, and not commercialism, is the reason we participate in this fun experience. What about you?

Linking up with:

Oh My Heartsie Girl – Friday Features, Strawberry Butterscotch – Saturday Shuffle, 24 Cottonwood Lane – Best of the Weekend, The Pinterested Parent – Sunday’s Best, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, Love of Home – Sundays at Home, My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies – Snickerdoodle Sunday, Plucky’s Second Thought – Cooking and Crafting With J&J, My Pinterventures – Merry Monday, Claire Justine – Creative Mondays, I Should be Mopping The Floor – Inspiration Monday, Create With Joy – Inspire me Monday, Yesterday on Tuesday – Project Inspired, The DIY Mommy – The Creative Corner, Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party, Being a Wordsmith – Turn it Up Tuesdays, Our Home Away From Home – Tuesdays at Our Home, The DIY Dreamer – From Dream to Reality, Oh My Heartsie Girl – Wonderful Wednesday, Savvy Southern Style – Wow us Wednesdays, Coombe Mill – Trash 2 Treasure, Domesblissity – Thriving on Thursdays, 21 Rosemary Lane – Share Your Style, Posed Perfection – Creative Ways, Have a Daily Cup of Mrs Olson – Share Your Cup, Sincerely, Paula – No Rules Weekend Blog Hop,  The Life of Jennifer Dawn, The Pin Junkie,

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14 thoughts on “Halloween – Is It Just Another Commercialised Event?

  1. Pingback: Pokémon Go Party – Part 2 | Saw it, Pinned it, Did it!

  2. Pingback: DIY Dreamcatcher | Saw it, Pinned it, Did it!

  3. It was a bit of a non event around here this year Fiona only because I was working full time at the time. The poor kids got themselves dressed into something or other (my daughter said she was deer road kill) so it was a matter of letting them walk around a couple blocks then home for dinner. I usually don’t mind the kids coming around for lollies but this year was so hectic with me working. I wouldn’t have even known if they knocked or not. I don’t get into decorating the house etc but love it when others do. It’s nice for the kids. It doesn’t have to be an expensive event, like all the wonderful ideas you’ve put together but it’s hard to escape these things, whether they’re American ideas or not. If it’s a bit of fun for the kids then what’s the harm?

    Anne xx

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  4. I have such fun memories of Halloween growing up as a kid! Because of that I embrace and love it! We had a record number of trick or treaters this year as well. We give regular sized candy bars but was glad that hubby bought a large bag of minis for back up. We ran out and had to rely on them. 🙂 Also, I don’t care how old the kids are as long as they are mannerly. Some people are rude to older kids. I would much rather they be out trick or treating than causing havoc! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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  5. Hi Fiona. This looks fabulous and I had a good giggle at your headstones! Great job Mum! We don’t celebrate Halloween, but my daughter has friends who are Irish and they go for it in a big way! Love your clever handiwork. Love, Mimi xxx

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    • Thanks, Mimi xx I think Halloween is definitely dependant on who else celebrates in the neighbourhood, and it is certainly popular here! My headstones will need re-doing for next year 😉 But it’s always nice to have the opportunity to update the décor!

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  6. Great post Fiona. I never went trick or treating once growing up. It just wasn’t celebrated here at all. The only Halloween experience I had growing up was watching “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” on TV. Now, you can’t escape it. Even if I didn’t get the kids involved there are still kids knocking on my door and every year since I’ve lived here, I’ve had a few lollies out for them. A couple of dollars, no big deal, but it gives them a lot of enjoyment. Now that I have my own kids, I love getting involved. I’ve never bought any of the junk from the dollars stores. There’s no need to. Like you say, you can make it all at home and costumes are easy enough to put together with what you have on hand. I’m not looking forward to the day my son outgrows his Darth Vader mask. He’s had it for about 6 years and wears it nearly every year. It’s a good back up! LOL There’s no harm in a bit of community spirit (and Mum raiding the kids lolly stash LOL).

    Anne xx

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    • Thanks Anne. I’ve never seen Charlie Brown’s Pumpkin, so you’re ahead of me!
      I didn’t talk about the outfit, but he decided to go with the zombie look from last year. Unfortunately we didn’t keep it! So a new one was made, hopefully will work again next year. Ripped shorts and t-shirt are perfect to wear on hot evenings!
      xx Fiona

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