A couple of weeks ago, on my way to work, I saw my first Halloween decorations. Someone had painstakingly made some beautiful elaborate ghost and pumpkin silhouettes out of black card and orange tissue paper, and had covered their entire front-room window with them. The window wasn’t in a shop, school or bar – it was five floors up on a block of flats, someone’s home, and instead of rolling my eyes and tutting out the line ‘“American commercialism gone mad”, I did a little mental fist pump. How jolly – someone really getting into the spirit of things.
These days, when it comes to any celebrations on the calendar, I AM IN. The news has been so awful recently maybe we all need more apple-bobbing in our lives. So what if these decorations were up a month early? I am IN on this earliness. I am also IN on the over-the-topness – also, while we’re on the subject, I’m IN on the Mariah’s-Christmas-tree-in-October silliness. Because why the hell not? Aside from the fact that La Carey has a Christmas tour and one of the most popular songs of the decade to plug (again), isn’t there a case to be made that we should all be surrendering ourselves to frivolity more, Mariah or no Mariah?
I know I’m not alone and, more than ever, Halloween and Christmas seem to be merging into one. I hear that this year sales are up 24 per cent compared with the same time last year. And while Christmas will always outweigh Halloween, increasingly October 31 is becoming a cultural precursor for the festive countdown. This seven-week run-up simmers slowly before the official starting gun that is the John Lewis Christmas ad in early November – as we all know, the date when festive madness is officially unleashed and the whole world starts wearing silly jumpers and mainlining Quality Street.
All this may go some way in explaining the reason behind the new trend for 'Halloween-mas', a curious blend of Halloween and Christmas
This year, both festivities seemed to arrive especially early. Selfridges opened their Christmas shop in July and John Lewis announced that 29 August was the day that "Christmas" became the top search term on their website. Then, last Friday, high-street retailers released data that showed that, thanks to the colder weather, consumers have already started their Christmas shopping in significant numbers.
All this may go some way in explaining the reason behind the new trend for “Halloween-mas”. A curious blend of Halloween and Christmas, it involves people buying and decorating Halloween trees for the month of October.
It’s an odd trend and obviously one that social media has a hand in (Instagram is fast filling up with the the hashtag #halloweentree). And, if you are a big fan of both Halloween and Christmas, like I am, then I suppose it makes sense to double up – buy one tree (no-drop needles essential) that will last you three months, then swap your pumpkin decs for Christmassy ones later on.
Retailers like Sainsbury’s and John Lewis seem to be taking it seriously, selling Halloween tree baubles, although it’s going to take more than this to convince me. Call me old-fashioned, but I’m still in the decorating-windows-with-paper-ghosts camp.
I know one person – a certain billionaire pop-singer diva – who would LOVE it, though...