Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Pumpkin Lights

There’s just a smattering of them this October strung up in trees and draping over bushes. Orange tinted lights, mellow and cheesy and surprisingly effective. We adore this new movement in exterior décor. It’s both rustic and spooky, an ode to this special time of year that so exquisitely merges both Norman Rockwell and Bela Lugosi Americana.

Halloween has been one of the fastest growing holidays for retail spending, but it lags others that are linked to gift-giving. Here's how they stack up in consumer spending, according to the National Retail Federation:

Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa $219.9-billion

Valentine's Day $12.8-billion

Easter $10.5-billion

Mother's Day $10.4-billion

Father's Day $8-billion

Halloween $3-billion

Will you look at that? Father’s Day dads are hardly experiencing parity with Mother’s Day moms! It’s an outrage! And the Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa tripartite is kicking some serious consuming ass. Each year we all take a little vacation through late December and spend roughly half the Pentagon’s yearly budget on trinkets, socks and holiday cheer. Me, all I need are some lights in the windows, a tree tastefully decorated, George Winston’s December and a vaporizer filled to capacity. Give me these and I guarantee I'll feel the spirit.

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