Martha C. White is the least fun person in all the world: "as the Great Home Equity Cashout hit its stride, our preferred flavor of spooky turned commercial. We had the money to blow and we believed marketers who told us we needed inflatable lawn mummies. Last year, we spent $5.77 billion, compared with $2.5 billion in 1995. Much was made of this continued increase, since the holiday came on the heels of an economic catastrophe. And last year was a turning point -- because this year we've spent 15 percent less."
Her figures for this year seem based on predictions not actual sales numbers so I think her real point is that she doesn't approve of adults spending all that money. And lo: "This scaling-back of the more commercial festivities surrounding Halloween is a good indication that the holiday will return to its roots as a low-key kids' day."
Where Seth Godin sees the true meaning behind the trend -- "the only holiday...where there is an arms race of creativity" -- Martha C White finds just a bunch of crass, contemptible people with too much disposable income. She isn't much of a thinker, is she?