October 26, 2021
WRITTEN BY:
Melinda Head

Boooooooh! Countdown to Halloween

Last year, Halloween was pretty much a write-off, will it be again this year? Consumers are saying loud and clear: “hell, no”.

The Business of Halloween

Two-thirds of Americans plan to celebrate Halloween, just 5 days from now - a whopping 82% of families with children and a majority (55%) of adults without. Yeah – we’re back!!!

Halloween is the 2nd largest retail event of the year. This year spending is estimated to top $10.1 billion, split almost equally between costumes ($3.3 billion), decorations ($3.2 billion) and candy ($3.0 billion).

The average American household will spend $102.74 on all items related to Halloween. This is the first time spending has hit triple digits. Only 25% plan to throw or attend a Halloween party, which means that ghosts and goblins will be out and about in the fresh air en masse – a good choice during these uncertain COVID-19 times, in my humble opinion.

“Fresh air is medicine to the body.”

Costumes

My crystal ball tells me that Squid Game costumes will be at the forefront this year. We covered Squid Game in last week’s blog. Here’s how to make a range of DIY Squid Game costumes, including a video clip for a temporary player costume that can be transformed back into everyday wear after Halloween:

Beyond Squid Game, there are a few other highly likely popularity teen to adult contenders. Kim Kardashian’s head-to-toe black ensemble and her ex-husband’s recent face masks will definitely be in the game. I am tired of these influencers, but who can deny the stellar job they’re doing promoting themselves? Did you know that Kim Kardashian used to be Paris Hilton’s assistant – she learned from the best.

Kim Kardashian at the 2021 Met Gala. Her head-turning outfit is easily reproducible for Halloween: full cover black face mask, black outfit with trailing fabric, black stiletto boots

Kayne West, now officially known as Ye, has catapulted the face mask into a fashion statement. Perhaps not (see details from a true fashion designer, Alexander McQueen, below), but it feels that way. No need to copy his masks, go crazy and make your own with whatever you have or can find

Now this is some pretty serious talent: Mask by Dai Rees for Alexander McQueen (Left), Mask by Alexander McQueen (Right). The genius of McQueen is portrayed in the 2018 documentary film simply called ‘McQueen

Or … how about getting back to basics with something that oozes authenticity like this? OMG, she’s so cute!!!

Baby Maisy and family in DIY sheep costumes. Celebrating Halloween for the first time with her new daughter, Lauren Walker is my niece and an artist represented by the Herringer Kiss Gallery

Decorations

In my little town, Hillsborough, N.C., our local coffee shop has gone all out in their small way:

Cup-a-Joe Alien Autopsy Halloween menu board designed by hugely talented staff 👏 👏 👏

This bloody, severed hand sits next to the espresso machine at Cup-a-Joe in Hillsborough, N.C. Best coffee in town and the biscuits are to die for!!!

Don’t go near this woman! On display during the lead up to Halloween at Cup-a-Joe in Hillsborough, N.C.

Jill and Eric Smith-Breeden are local Hillsborough Halloween aficionados. In 2020, the family created scenes using fake human and animal skeletons, including a skeleton yoga class, a skeleton birthday party, a skeleton pool party, skeletons playing the Price is Right, skeletons doing yard work, skeletons playing golf, skeletons hanging laundry out to dry and skeletons washing the family car. Wow, what incredible imagination! What fun!

The Smith-Breeden driveway in Hillsborough, N.C.  👏 👏 👏

“People who are out walking stop and take photos. Some say they look forward to seeing what’s different every day.” (Jill Smith-Breeden, Hillsborough, N.C. resident and Halloween fanatic)

I used to live in Manhattan, Halloween was a super big thing there. A host of celebrities have lived in New York City’s Upper West Side (UWS), including Jerry Seinfeld, Tina Fey, Steve Martin, Amy Schumer, John Oliver, Matt Damon, Robert DeNiro, Alex Rodriguez, Howard Stern, Al Pacino, Steven Spielberg, Yoko Ono, Denzel Washington and more. With close proximity to Central Park, this neighborhood oozes wealth. How much? The median house sale price was $9.5 million in Q2 2021, with lots left over to spend on Halloween decorations:

Halloween decorations adorn an Upper West Side townhouse on 69th Street, far surpassing the average Halloween spend of about $35 on decorations

Candy

I’m not sure what to say about candy. As a child, my mission on Halloween was to fill a pillowcase with candy. Of course, that proved to be impossible. I coveted individual packages of potato chips and mini chocolate bars, while Rockets, Kraft caramels, Twizzlers, suckers, jelly beans, raisins and peanuts were relegated to a distant second position. Unbranded Halloween candy wrapped in orange and black-themed wrappers was the worst – who gets their jollies torturing kids and dentists this way? Yuck!

Kerr Molasses Kisses (we never knew the name) were the most disgusting Halloween candy ever

We threw out apples in case they contained razor blades, but never found any; they were usually soft anyway and merited the garbage bin. Through our school, we collected spare change in an orange box strung around our necks for UNICEF, mostly pennies. In 2020, collection boxes were discontinued in order to responsibly social distance. This year UNICEF is seeking digital Halloween donations to help deliver 1.4 billion COVID-19 vaccination doses around the world, along with masks, hygiene supplies, treatment and diagnostic kits (https://www.unicefusa.org/trick-or-treat).

Ultimately, we all know that kids love candy, but it’s mostly sugar, bad for your teeth and has poor nutritional value. Despite this, Halloween candy sales will hit $3 billion in the U.S. this year. That means companies like Mars, Hershey, Nestle and Frito-Lay (a PepsiCo brand) will all be competing for your business this month. Don’t choose your candy blindly. First, ask yourself a question: are the candies you are buying made by good companies? Are they socially and environmentally responsible or are they just greenwashing? How do your candy providers ensure that no child labor is used at any time in the process? After all, Halloween is for the kids. We have master investigative photographer Lewis Hine to thank for that. We need more Lewis Hines across the Globe.

Now challenge yourself and your friends to our Halloween Quiz of the Day, by downloading Quizefy from the app store if you haven’t already done so, then see how much you know and Strut Your Smart. Our Halloween Quiz of the Day is only available today, then it disappears. We’ll be back again every Tuesday with a special blog posted at www.quizefy.com, along with a new trivia quiz on the same topic as the blog. Don’t forget to follow Quizefy in social media, so we can remind you of upcoming blog and quiz content.

Coming Up For Quizefy

Every day:  a new trivia Quiz of the Day on continuously changing topics. Available for 24 hours only

Every Tuesday:  our FACT-ory blog on www.quizefy.com, with a matching Quiz of the Day in our Quizefy app. Read our blog for hints that will improve your Quizefy score

Every Sunday:  the Week in Review, our comprehensive review of national and global events in the past 7 days. This would be a great addition to your Sunday routine

Always:  trivia questions on a myriad of topics that you can choose yourself
Tuesday, November 30th: What is Web 3.0
Wednesday, December 1st: National Pie Day
Thursday, December 02nd: Mutt Day
Friday, December 03rd: Bartender Day
Saturday, December 04th: Cookie Day
Sunday, December 05th: Week in Review (we cover this topic every Sunday)
Monday, December 06th: Microwave Oven Day
Click here to Download Quizefy
About the Author

A serial entrepreneur, Melinda is a sociologist and statistician who believes there is no currency with greater value than knowledge

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