I have some new neighbors. They moved to Massachusetts from DC. Last weekend,as I was out in our front garden planting tulips (Eco Tulips!) the new folks stopped by to chat, seeking direction on how much candy to stock up for Halloween. (They also wanted to know what candy was popular but I couldn’t help them there. I only buy what I want to eat. This year it’s Whoppers.)
In the course of the conversation I commented on the marked increase in fantastic Halloween decorations in our town. There is a flood of cool faux granite tombstones on the lawns of many homes. Strings of twinkly orange lights abound. My neighbor has giant Savadore Dali type spiders crawling all over the front of her traditional Colonial. This Halloween celebration wave started with the giant inflatables that appeared a few years ago but the new decor that I see multiplying like rabbits has gotten pretty interesting.
Thus I devoured an article in the Boston Globe that deliciously confirmed and explained the phenomenon. It’s not just me. It’s not just my town. This explosion of Halloween decor and celebration is a major national trend, to the tune of an 18% increase over 2010 in Halloween spending, at an expected $6.7 Billion! The article explained:
With more people than ever planning to observe Halloween – 68.6 percent of Americans, compared with 52.5 percent in 2005, according to the National Retail Federation – the question has to be asked: What the devil is going on?
Halloween experts point to a variety of factors working in the holiday’s favor. (The holiday is so big it now has its own specialists.)
For starters, there’s the rise of the “kidult,’’ that is, young adults who still enjoy the trappings of childhood, which has turned a holiday once meant mainly for children into an event for grown-ups. Improved manufacturing and market-research capabilities mean companies can release short-term specialty products without fear of being left with huge numbers of unsold items. Advances in technology also mean more attractive home-fog machines.
All of those explanations make sense to me.
But the last one–the ability to make better products more economically and profitably is one we watch all year long at Daily Grommet. It’s happening in areas that are much more important/enduring than dressing up your yard for Halloween. This shift in production resources enables viable social enterprises. It supports domestic manufacture. It lets ordinary people get products to market better than ever.
So, as much as I enjoy them, when I look at these new improved spooky decorations I see a much deeper advance happening around us.