General Question

deaddolly's avatar

Why do you think Halloween is becoming more popular than Christmas? How do you celebrate it, if you do?

Asked by deaddolly (3406points) September 22nd, 2008

I love Halloween…except it’s everyday in my house. I never have gotten into the whole costume thing tho…My thing is the horror aspect about it and the supernatural quality of it.

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40 Answers

Mr_M's avatar

It’s NOT and NEVER will.

gooch's avatar

It is no way more popular than Christmas. We begin shopping months in advance. Halloween celebrations are never done more than a week in advance where I live.

poofandmook's avatar

I don’t think it’s getting bigger than Christmas, but I do love it. Right now I’m making a Halloween patchwork-style afghan for my mom’s birthday (she was born on Halloween and is a huge nut for it). I usually celebrate by going to see the top rated “haunted house” in the country (according to AOL at least), Nightmare

Mr_M's avatar

What IS actually happening is that Halloween is getting bigger and bigger, and I think (because we live in a crazy world) door-to-door “trick-or-treating” is giving way to parties where everyone knows each other. Americans are spending a forever increasing amount on Halloween.

If you want to talk about holidays becoming like Christmas though, think EASTER, which is becoming a “gift giving” holiday as evidenced by the toy catalogs that come out that time of year.

deaddolly's avatar

Speaking from a retail point of view, Americans spend way more on Halloween decorations, costumes, parties than on Christmas. That’s been a reported fact.
I think ppl like it because it’s one of the holidays where you don’t have to give gifts…

And, yes, it is a holiday to many people. Had to throw that in before I got the Christian rebuttal!

Also, because it let’s ppl be something else – escape from who/what they are for a short time. Personally, I’m at the point where I don’t need to escape anymore and who I am now scares ppl anyway so…lol

Mr_M's avatar

@dead, I’m gonna step out on a limb and say I challenge that. “Costumes”, of course since there are no costumes for Christmas (unless you want to count the occasional “Santa” suit) but there are family holiday meals that go on for days, travel costs, attire, and gifts during the holidays that are not like ANY other day. People can go to SEVERAL holiday parties during Christmas season but not so on Halloween.

deaddolly's avatar

Agreed. But look at all the stores directly related to Halloween that open up specifically for Halloween. We have about 10 in the Milwaukee area alone. Also all the catalogs/online stores that sell things year round (Fright is one that pops to mind, right away. There are Xmas stores, but not as many as there are Halloween stores. There are family holiday meals for Halloween that go on for days as well. Depends on the family.
Company’s have Xmas parties, true, and give bonus check (? lol), but I’ve worked for places that also did costume contests etc.

I just want you to give up, Mr. M, and say I’m right… jk. not.

Mr_M's avatar

I would gladly say you’re right, except you’re wrong. :)

Sure, there are more dedicated Halloween stores then there are dedicated Christmas stores, but that’s ONLY because just about EVERY store, from CVS to Home Depot to Macy’s, has an extensive Christmas section now, starting in September. And do you forget that the Hallmark stores feature their Christmas ornaments in the SUMMER (NOT Halloween ornaments but Christmas ornaments). The Halloween stores in Westchester and in Westchester malls close UP right after Halloween. No so the Christmas store we have (I forget the name. It’s a chain open all year).

And no, find me a family that has a holiday meal for Halloween that goes on for days. The Addams family maybe?

loser's avatar

Halloween is a lot of fun for me with no stress whatsoever. Christmas, on the other hand, is full of too much stress, expectations, so…

deaddolly's avatar

@ Mr M….many, many pagan families celebrate All Hollows.

Many, many, many stores carry Halloween decorations, just like Xmas decorations.

Nope, I will not concede.

cwilbur's avatar

Secular Halloween is celebrated by dressing up in costumes and having parties, and the most that’s exchanged is candy.

Secular Christmas is celebrated by anxiety-ridden gift exchanges and dysfunctional family dinners.

Which one do you prefer?

cheebdragon's avatar

Halloween is celebrated by almost everyone with kids, and a lot of teens/young adults because it is a chance for girls to dress like sluts.
Christmas is really only celebrated by a few religions.

Mr_M's avatar

Christmas is a NATIONAL holiday. Don’t count the number of religions – count the number of PEOPLE celebrating. And go to a Christmas party – poll the religions present. You’ll find atheists there even!

And, again, I never heard or read ANYTHING in my life that talks about people having Haloween meals that go on for days. Do you have a reference? Even if you do, even YOU have to agree that Haloween meals lasting for days would be EXTREMELY rare.

deaddolly's avatar

I’ve never heard of Xmas meals going on for days either. Are you referring to the pilgrims?

And you’ll find Christians at Halloween parties.

Halloween is stress free; Xmas isn’t. Thanksgiving isn’t. Easter isn’t.
Before you bitch: Thanksgiving = family gathering/being alone, cooking
Easter = family gathering/being alone, cooking, easter baskets.

K, I’m done now.

Nimis's avatar

Are we talking about which one we think is better?
Or which we think is more popular? [scratches head]
Actually, doesn’t the question already imply that we agree with both?

poofandmook's avatar

This appears to have gotten way too serious for a silly holiday thread.

Nimis's avatar


Mr_M's avatar

I agree too. I’m done too but only after I tell you that Europeans celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with big family meals (ask an Italian-American family) AND they extend the celebrating into New Years Eve and New Years Day family meals.

My response regarding atheists at Christmas Parties was in response to @cheebgragon’s “Christmas is only celebrated by a few religions”.

Christmas is a season. Halloween is one day. Once again, Halloween is fun and getting bigger and better every year. There are more and more similarities to the way we celebrate Christmas every year (ex., outdoor Halloween lights) but it is NOT more popular then Christmas and NEVER will be.

deaddolly's avatar

I disagree, Mr. M.

And, yeah, I really wanted to know which you prefer and what you do to celebrate.
Bah humbug to Xmas.

tinyfaery's avatar

Presents = Good
Candy = Good

No problems with either here.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Halloween is VERY VERY much less popular than Christmas! I have to disagree.

Bri_L's avatar

@ tinyfaery – I couldn’t have put it better myself

trudacia's avatar

@deaddolly, where was it reported that “Americans spend way more on Halloween decorations, costumes, parties than on Christmas.”?

That doesn’t seem possible.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Revenues schedules of American retailers would agree with Trudacia…

Nimis's avatar

Plus, don’t you reuse Christmas decorations?
We only pick a particular few each year to add to the collection.

My Halloween decorations always rot. =(

trudacia's avatar

I can only speak for my family and friends, Christmas cleans me out….
Every year I purchase Christmas presents, new clothes for various holiday parties, ingredients for my contribution to Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner, etc.

I love it but I’m broke every January!

deaddolly's avatar

Re: spending more on Halloween, I did my own little survey with 3 area managers, who happen to be friends re; what they make more $$ on. It was last year, but it involved Target, Walmart and Menard’s. They all stated Halloween keeps growing every year and the demand for product comes earlier and earlier.

I reuse my Halloween decorations as well, but I buy new stuff throughout the year. I haven’t bought Xmas stuff in ages. I did buy an upside down Xmas tree last year, but,
and I’m sure I’m be sorry typing this for public consumption, I decorate with Leatherface lights (from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre). I don’t do any religious decorations at all for Xmas.

Nimis's avatar

Growing, sure.
Bigger, not so sure.
I think tacking on than Christmas compromises your question?
Maybe Halloween’s popularity is growing more than Christmas?

But that’s only because Christmas is already HUGE.

deaddolly's avatar

But Xmas is huge with a certain segment, and that segment isn’t growing as fast. Not a lot of ppl are religious anymore….I’m sure I’ll hear flack on that one. But, Xmas has gotten so commerical. Ppl buy and spend and get into debt…they forget what the whole religious aspect of it was supposed to be about.

Halloween is just good fun; serious to some, but good fun, without any strings to most.

trudacia's avatar

I’m not religious at all. For me Christmas is more about tradition, spending time with family and friends and PRESENTS!!

Nimis's avatar

Wait, you’re arguing about which is better.
Christmas getting more commercial makes it more…well, commercial.
People buy and spend. Isn’t that how you’re measuring the popularity of Halloween?

It doesn’t need to grow that fast because it is already HUGE.

But, yes, what Tru said. Presents!

tinyfaery's avatar

I celebrate Giftmas, which happens to fall around the same time as Christmas, Hanukah, Yule, and Kwanza.

cheebdragon's avatar

My son was born on Christmas eve so either way we have to spend a lot of money around Christmas time.
People spend a pretty good amount of $ on Halloween stuff….look at the costume in my avatar if you need and proof of that…my sons costume cost around $60—$70. Those seasonal Halloween stores are so neat, but seriously expensive when it comes to their prices…

deaddolly's avatar

yeah, the Halloween stores are $$. I’m amazed at how many there are…and they’re opening earlier and earlier.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I like Halloween infinitely more than Christmas. You get to dress up in costume, act silly, hang with your friends, and get drunk and then even more silly. Christmas is more reserved and formal-ish in my family… not as much my idea of fun. Also there’s always pressure to give gifts and blah-dee-blah. The commercialism of it makes me sick. I’m a Scrooge.

scamp's avatar

Halloween is lots of fun, and certainly seems to be growing in popularity, but I think Christmas still has it beat.

deaddolly's avatar

A lot of people get depressed around Xmas.

I’d like to cross it off my calendar. It doesn’t depress me – just stresses me out re: what to buy people.

scamp's avatar

Isn’t that odd? Some people get depressed on a holiday that celebrates a birth, but everyone is happy on the one that clebrates death. Kinda weird when you think about it that way, isn’t it?

deaddolly's avatar

I think ppl get so caught up in the craziness of Xmas, they stop to remember why they’re celebrating.

And, yes – it is odd.

Jeruba's avatar

I’vre thought about this question a lot. I believe the answer is simple: because Halloween, regardless of its origin, is treated as a secular holiday and not as something that belongs to any particular group. So there’s not the same concern about offending anyone, meaning members of non-Christian religious groups. I think the biggest reason is that it can be wrung to the last drop in schools, with thematic tie-ins of every kind in the classroom, without triggering parents’ ire (in most parts of the country). I think this is why it gets built up to something so huge in kinds’ minds that the event itself is bound to be a letdown.

In the pre-PC days when I went to school, decades ago, Christmas and Easter got that kind of treatment, with no apologies to anyone. And they were correspondingly major in kids’ minds. Halloween was fun then, too, but never bigger than Christmas. In those days we also sang actual Christmas carols in school; and not just the sanitized, noncommittal songs like “Jingle Bells” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” That too added to the sense of magnitude of the season.

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