Don’t let Halloween expenses scare you! From costumes, to treats, to party favorites, Cashback Loans can help you celebrate in style. Learn more about America’s 2nd Biggest Holiday.
Did you know that Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in) celebrated more than 2,000 years ago? November 1 marked the end of summer, a successful harvest, and the beginning of winter. In Celtic lore, November 1 was New Year’s Day. To end the year, on October 31, the Celts celebrated Samhain, a night when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to the earth. To commemorate the event, sacred bonfires were built, fortunes were told and costumes were worn to confuse the ghosts.
Halloween transformed from its earlier Celtic roots in the second half of the 19th Century as Irish immigrants flooded America, fleeing the potato famine of 1846. Thanks to Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house-to- house asking for food or money – a practice that evolved into today’s “trick-or- treat” tradition. In the late 1800s, there was a move in America to mold Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighborly get- togethers than about ghosts, pranks and witchcraft. At the turn of the century, Halloween parties became the most common way to celebrate the day; and, anything “frightening” or “grotesque” was taken out of celebrations. By the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween became a community-centered holiday where parades and city-wide parties were the norm. Due to the high number of children during the 50s baby boom, parties moved from town centers into classrooms or homes and trick-or-treating was revived.
Today, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday. Costumes have become the mainstay of the holiday, and elaborate, funny, scary, creative are the buzzwords. A quick internet search will yield thousands of costumes for purchase, but get ready for a sticker shock! The average costume costs $82… and that doesn’t include the props. It’s not enough to have the witches hat and dress. A costume connoisseur will want to add the broom or umbrella, pointed boots, eye make-up and more… which ups the ante and the cost for a costume that will look as fierce as the day.
Other than Trick-or-Treating, parties are the most popular Halloween event in which Americans participate. It’s not limited to the kids, though your child’s school will most likely schedule one. Adults have some of the most imaginative parties with the theme carried through the décor, food, drinks and activities. When it comes to beverages, it’s more about how you serve it than what you actually serve. Some of the best ideas we’ve seen are the infamous hand in the punch bowl, the laboratory beakers or the smoking glasses of blood red punch. Since smoke rising from a punchbowl or display will usually involve dry ice, it’s probably not the best choice for a children’s party.
Two .13-ounce packets unsweetened lemon-lime
drink mix, like Kool-Aid
2 cups sugar
One 46-ounce can pineapple juice
12 ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate
32 ounces ginger ale
Put two quarts of water in a gallon size container.
Add the drink mix and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
Add pineapple juice, thawed lemonade concentrate and ginger ale. Stir well.
Refrigerate to get cold.
To serve, pour into beakers (shown right).
For a fun serving idea, get a test tube stand and fill test tubes with Beaker Brew.
The seasonal celebration does not end with Halloween as Dia De Los Muertos has evolved into an integral part of this season. In Central & Southern Mexico, the belief is held that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31, and the spirits of all deceased children are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours. Then, on November 2, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them. Beautiful altars, called Ofrendas, are made in many homes. They are decorated with candles, buckets of flowers, mounds of fruit and foods. The Ofrenda needs to have lots of bottles of soda, hot cocoa and water for the weary spirits. What was once only observed in the southern parts and Indian villages in Mexico is becoming very popular in the US, perhaps because we don’t have a way to celebrate and honor our dead. Scholars trace the origins of this holiday to indigenous Mexican observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. Whether you call it Dia De Los Muertos, All Saints Day or All Souls Day, from North & South American through Europe, this holiday is marked with family and friends, offering prayer and celebrating the lives of those who have passed.
And so it begins… Halloween is the official kickoff of the Holiday season. From here until the first week of January, you will be inundated with seasonal messaging and sales. Halloween leads to Thanksgiving. And after Thanksgiving, Christmas is just around the corner. For those who make frugal living a fun way of life, there are savings to be had. Savvy shoppers know that on November 1, giant bags of candy will be up to 75% off. While they won’t hold up for a full year of storage, you know you’ll have candy at nearly every party you host, or be asked to bring treats to your child’s school party, soccer snack week or social get-together. It’s stock up time! Use this handy cheat sheet to know the best times to save over the next few months.
Halloween candy, paper goods, invitations and décor are clear-out, close-out priced
Grey Thursday – retailers who open this night will do so with immense savings and limited-time exclusive offers. Check with each store before you plan to venture out. Many retailers are breaking away from “Open Thanksgiving Night” tradition to allow their employees to spend time with their families. As of October 1, USA Today has compiled a list of more than 50 retailers who won’t open on Thanksgiving Day.
Black Friday – the busiest shopping day of the year, no doubt. Catch the best bargains by going when the store opens, usually 5:00 – 6:00 am. As the name implies, “Doorbusters” are designed to get shoppers in early and those who come reap the rewards!
Cyber Monday – get on your computer and check the deals that internet retailers will offer. Most sites will start before Monday and based on the internet’s immediacy, their offers will come and go. Many sites allow you to set an alert so you’ll know when the item you’re watching reaches the price you’re willing to pay.
You’ll start to see stores marking down different items in the few days leading up to Christmas. Our savvy shopping tip is this: if it’s not on sale, don’t buy it! Retailers need to move Christmas merchandise out and the precious few days are their last chance. Look for those deals, because they’re out there.
After Christmas Sale – there’ll be so much to save on, and stocking up for next season is best done on this day. Beware! There will be long lines at registers as 72% of all gift returns occur the day after Christmas.