Pumpkins, parties and piling on debt

A portion of the $9.1 billion spent this Halloween will go to candy.

(U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Jason Couillard)

A portion of the $9.1 billion spent this Halloween will go to candy.

Trick or treating, carving pumpkins and dressing up in costumes. This year, Americans are expected to spend over $9.1 billion on the fall holiday, according to The National Retail Federation’s annual Halloween survey.

Halloween truly is a holiday of material things. This year, more than 179 million Americans are planning to participate in the celebrations on Oct. 31. Spending money on decorations, handing out candy, and costumes is something many Americans are used to be doing, and they start shopping early.

“Some of them probably already have,” says Buehler’s worker Tina Wojdacz when talking about Halloween shopping. “If they see things on sale, they buy it and stock up.”

As early as the beginning of October, you can find pumpkins and other Halloween decorations when you are shopping. The stores benefit from the increases in purchases during the holiday time. But, others think that there are better ways to spend the $9.1 billion. One of them is MHS student teacher Dylan Cook.

“I’m not a big Halloween fan,” Cook stated. “Do I think there are better ways to spend your money – absolutely. Am I going to tell people not to buy candy – absolutely not.”

If Americans decided to spend the money on something else than the holiday, only one question would remain – where should the money go instead? Charity is definitely one option that should be considered, according to Medina resident Victoria Thompson.

“Particularly this year with all the devastation from the hurricanes, we should give a portion of our money to the Red Cross,” stated Thompson.

In comparison to other holidays, Halloween is a cheap one. According to another National Retail Federation’s survey, U.S consumers are expected to spend $18.2 billion on Valentine’s day, which is a decrease from last year’s $19.7 billion. But none of these numbers are comparable to the winter holidays where Americans spent $626.1 billion in 2016.

“I think that’s crazy, and typical American,” was Thompson’s reaction to the numbers.