This week saw Canadians sickened by the Senate spectacle turning to the comparatively soothing sights of bloody limbs and glow-in-the-dark skulls. Of course, I'm talking about the sights of Halloween, a holiday that seems to get significantly more expensive with each year. I don't mean to sound like the Onion, whose panellists once debated whether Halloween candy and costumes have distracted us from the traditional Halloween purpose of placating demons to ensure a bountiful harvest. I'm good with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Wonder Woman get-ups. It's just that the practice of decorating homes and lawns with pricey and elaborate ornaments of spookiness seems to be getting out of control.
On his way to school each day, my son has taken to counting the number of styrofoam faux tombstones adorning each lawn, and there are enough to keep him busy the whole way. Store-bought fake spider webs and half-buried skeletons are probably blocking many more featherweight grave markers from sight. Surely this is unnecessary. Surely we can all find a way to enjoy Halloween without spending $238.72 on an inflatable hearse carriage, or $97.01 on an animated rising gravekeeper. Why not drop the pageantry and return to the wholesome old-fashioned elements of the holiday: transfat-laden treats and polyester suits that smell like chemicals. Therein lies the true spirit of Halloween.