Oct 31 2012

How Adults Have Taken Over Halloween

Halloween: It’s not just for kids anymore.

According to this recent article in USA Today, a record $8 billion was spent by U.S. consumers this Halloween – mostly by adults, for adults. The holiday ranks No. 2, after Christmas, in consumer spending for decorations, and grown-ups are now forking out more money for their own costumes than for their kids.

A record-breaking 71.5 percent of adults planned to celebrate Halloween this year, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. And not by taking the little ones trick-or-treating.

Evidence of the adultification of Halloween is everywhere – from bar scene costume parties to Halloween-themed alcoholic beverages to the unending slew of skimpy adult costumes. (Sexy Bert and Ernie anyone? It’s real, Google it.)

So why the shift?

Halloween is surely appealing to grown-ups for a variety of reasons Though it’s a holiday about excesses, candy-coated or otherwise, it’s also a fairly low-stress occasion. No gifts, no awkward family gatherings – just you and your friends acting like fools. It’s the one day of the year you’re given permission to be someone totally different from yourself, if only by donning a wacky wig and tacky fishnets.

As a lifelong fan of Halloween, I for one couldn’t be happier that we’re still allowed to celebrate it as grown-ups. And I’m not surprised the holiday’s popularity amongst adults seems to be on the rise as my generation grows older. With many of us reluctant to leave certain aspects of our childhoods behind, we simply take them with us. You could call it Peter Pan syndrome, or dress it up for an adult Halloween and call it sexy Peter Pan syndrome. And don’t forget that naughty Tinkerbell.

Have a Happy Halloween!

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