Twerk or treat. Miley Cyrus costumes are flying off Halloween stores’ hangers.
The entertainer came in at No. 5 on the 10 most-searched Halloween costumes to date, according to last week’s data by Google Shopping. Other top searches include characters of “Breaking Bad,” “Duck Dynasty,” Daenerys from “Game of Thrones” and Minions of “Despicable Me”
If this is what the tradition of Halloween has become, our generation must answer for celebrating this hocus pocus of a “holiday.”
For college students, Halloween has become a middle-of-the-week inconvenience, an unnecessary expense and an obligated chore to act as a billboard of the latest fad, and in this case, foam finger.
Bona fide holidays call for turkeys, trees, chocolates and cards. All of these are pre-set traditions that are not to be tampered with. But Halloween varies in its observance and is conditional upon the day it falls on.
For students, once we’ve outgrown the appropriate age of door-to-door candy solicitation, defending the celebration of Halloween becomes a difficult task. But if America’s spending is any indication, attitudes towards the holiday may be taking a hint from the fall season and changing.
According to the 2013 National Retail Federation’s Halloween Spending Survey, total spending on costumes, treats and festivities will reach $6.9 billion, compared to the $8 billion spent last year. What’s more, 158 million Americans will celebrate the holiday, compared to last year’s high of 170 million people.
Like Christmas, Halloween is celebrated as a secular holiday by some and banned from the calendars of others. However, unlike the Santa celebration, Halloween is not a federal-recognized holiday, therefore it doesn’t have the perk of being a day off, the mark of a true holiday. This is especially relevant to students, giving no incentive to celebrate on a Thursday evening – the Hallow’s Eve before a Friday exam.
“I don’t have time to celebrate a holiday this close to finals,” said Brandy Rains, senior art education major from Fort Worth. “Besides, no one knocks on my dorm door. And the last thing college students need is another excuse for more junk food.” Rains said it is at this point of the semester, students’ stress levels soar and academic workload piles up, with finals in the foreseeable future.
There’s no room in our schedules and no room in our wallets, either. The average American will spend $75.03 on decorations, costumes and candy for Halloween, reported the NRF. This is an expense a college student cannot justify on an Easy Mac allotted budget.
We are too old to trick-or-treat, yet old enough to know the consequences of a 30-Twix binge. Refrain from your Miley costume-buying, students, and save your pigging out for turkey plates.
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