The trick is to treat Halloween as fun
G osh, Halloween is big business these days. We have friends who are spending this evening decorating their entire house in preparation for next Saturday night.
And when I say decorating, I mean everything from hanging bats, ghosts and pumpkins from the ceiling, sticking up fake spooky portraits and gravestones on the walls and draping doorways with fake cobwebs.
Even the toilet is not left out: stickers of a ghoul trying to get out of the toilet and blood dripping from the cistern mean the entire bathroom is out of action from now until October 31 for anyone of a nervous disposition.
Walking around the shops at this time of year is interesting.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Halloween stuff crammed next to Christmas stuff as bosses refuse to compromise on either cash-boosting celebration.
A fat little toy Santa ho-ho-hoing next to the blood-curdling screams of a wind-up witch is enough to blow any party-pooper's mind.
And you can almost hear the moans from here: grunts about over- commercialism, economic crises, Americans spreading their bonhomie over here where, quite frankly, we don't want it.
But, actually, some of us do.
Knocking door to door among neighbours you barely speak to at other times of the year is a fun community thing to do.
Of course, there are some houses whose curtains and doors remain resolutely shut no matter how many mini witches and goblins knock on the door.
But there are also the heart-warming surprises: the old lady who has made mini cups of pumpkin soup, the teenagers who have spent time wrapping up lollies to look like little ghosts, the house-holders who have spent time and a lot of money into turning their homes into a spooky ghost house for one night only.
It is all good fun and something that should surely only be welcomed in these times, when work commitments mean so many of the old community celebrations are getting lost.
And, let's face it, some of the Halloween items – cackling witches, shaking skeletons and cute ghostie lights to name but a few – would put a smile on even the most determinedly of miserable faces.
One of the best things about Halloween is that, even if money is tight, there are loads of ways to celebrate without spending much money: good old-fashioned apple bobbing, wrapping a "mummy" in toilet paper and playing hide and squeak in the dark are all great ways to keep any wannabe ghouls and ghosties happy without laying out a lot of money.
But there are also some amazing decorations and outfits out there in the shops should you want to splash the cash and Halloween-up your house and kids.
As you might expect from a store owned by the American retail giants Wal-Mart, Asda has embraced Halloween whole- heartedly for the past few season and must be one of the first destinations for pumpkin-related paraphernalia.
It also has a huge range of adult Halloween costumes, including an amazing gravestone outfit (£29) that will put all those half-hearted witches and sheet-draped ghosts to shame.
Surprisingly, traditionally more staid chains, such as M&S and Sainsbury's, have also thrown themselves into the spooky party spirit, offering everything from spider decorations to spooky cake stands.
Like our friends, many people, it seems, are embracing the spirit of Halloween whole-heartedly.
See you out trick or treating, then. No grumbles.