An Open Letter To Halloween From The Ghost Of Christmas Future

According to the National Retail Federation, Americans are set to spend $4.75 billion on Halloween supplies this year. Concerned at this development, The Ghost Of Christmas Future wrote in to share his thoughts on the matter.

Dear Halloween,

I know you have little time for me, a ghost of a holiday that is now synonymous with stress and commercialism and hilarious films featuring dysfunctional families, but I wanted to send you a line to warn you of the things to come.

You're the most popular kid on the holiday block, Halloween. Hipper than Christmas, more exciting than the 4th of July, and filled with candy and costumes and haunted houses. I'm a ghost, you see, so haunted houses are just houses to me, but I understand the fascination. I'm concerned, however, at your recent explosion in popularity. You're getting a bit too big for your britches, Halloween. You're becoming a bit of a monster, and not the fun sassy kind you can get a kit to replicate at the local CVS.

Sure, you're on top now. Ah, but they shall turn on you, dear friend. They will start to dread the arrival of ghoulish masks and pre-spun spiderwebs and that horrible sugared corn that lines the shelves come late August, signaling your arrival. They will begin worrying about their costumes earlier and earlier, resentful toward ambitious friends who claim to have locked down a proper (and clever) outfit by mid-July as they desperately circle the leftovers at their local pharmacy on October 29th. They will enter their offices and classrooms and homes, bemoaning the arrival of "The Monster Mash," and the latest Saw film. Suddenly, the fun and excitement you've always promised, and their dedication to it, will feel more obligatory than anything else; the death knell for any holiday.

Of course, they'll still love you, and when October 31 rolls around, they'll still celebrate you handily and seemingly forget the stress and drama you've caused them throughout the Autumn days, but it shall never be the same; the "Ugh, Halloween is coming" dread will always overcome them, and those who remain upbeat and celebratory towards you throughout the season will be looked upon with scorn and pity. "Look at Alice, with her horrible bag of Fun Size bars," they'll sneer, "why doesn't anyone eat a real candy bar anymore? What have we become!?!'

You might think you're immune to such things. I understand that. You're all the rage, the alternative holiday, the party time good time bus wagon o'fun. Christmas, by comparison, is currently filling the eye-rolling dread spot, but it's only a matter of time, my friend. Overexposure, out-of-control Hallo-mania, and the increasing push to spend more, outdo the competition, and "win" some sort of Halloween prize for having the best or most elaborate costume, or attend the best or most elaborate party, will put the pressure on even your most loyal subjects, and some of them won't make it through. You're in danger of becoming the Red Sox to Christmas' Yankees. Your fans either don't know, or refuse to admit, that you're turning into the kind of stressful holiday they claim to despise.

Of course, it's not much good writing you this now. It seems the wheels are already in motion, and the future has paid the price. We're run by a group of vampires, and they sparkle, and now they've taken to living in the trees, so Arbor Day is the new big thing. Everyone paints a tree with glitter and reads sad poems to it. It's quite moving and stupid, and it's only a matter of time until it, too, gets completely out of control.

Best of luck to you, Halloween. And remember, after the horseman lost his head, he ran around carrying a pumpkin in its place. That's a metaphor, Halloween. For you. Merry Christmas.

Yours,
The Ghost of Christmas Future

Wild, Wacky, And Weird [LATimes]