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A weakness for Halloween - Justin Boron

Some people might complain about the early arrival of Halloween paraphernalia, but it's exhilarating for me. I say bring it in as early as August. In fact, there should be an advance holiday that marks the beginning of Halloween season. Just like Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season, I think Aug. 31 should kick off Halloween.

It's ridiculous, and I get upset about early Christmas decorations, but for some reason, Halloween feels like a reawakening for me.

Even now when I'm no longer a kid, I don't trick-or-treat, and I haven't really decorated for the occasion in awhile. But I am still filled with anticipation for the holiday once decorations start showing up in the store.

Maybe it's because it is such an imaginative holiday. It transforms the community into a macabre world that doesn't exist the rest of the year unless you're a "goth" enthusiast like Anne Rice.

Whatever the reason for my excitement, this year, I've developed a bad habit. Whenever I go into a store and find Halloween stuff for sale, I feel compelled to buy something.

It started a few weeks ago, when I went into a discount "dollar" store in Atlanta, where everything was insidiously priced over $1, despite the advertisement and namesake.

Anyway, I immediately noticed an entire wall of Halloween trinkets, masks, and pumpkin-shaped candy receptacles.

I couldn't help myself. I started picking out monster masks and spider-web decorations as if I would actually use them. I probably won't decorate or really participate at all. But something nostalgic was forcing me to buy.

In recent weeks, I've developed a stockpile of Halloween goods that I probably won't use.

My enthusiasm doesn't fare well for my financial future. The cost of my Halloween expenses should only go up once the Haunted Houses start opening up.

I can see myself doing the circuit. Going all over metro Atlanta to visit them, dropping $15 to $30 a pop.

What all this comes down to is that I'm a sucker. I've always prided myself in not falling for the Christmas gimmicks like cookies and lights. But I guess Halloween is my soft spot.

I'm a perfect market target for the companies producing all the "smarties," candy corn, fake blood, and cobwebs that pervade the Halloween season.

This is the way great memories of the past come back to haunt you.

My happiness with Halloween as a child has rendered me vulnerable to the capitalism that I have had to face in adulthood.

So I guess it might be better just to make children miserable on holidays. In my book, Scrooge wouldn't be the symbol of the overaccumulation of wealth, he'd be its defender.

Justin Boron covers politics and government for the News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753 Ext. 281 or a jboron@news-daily.com .