Halloween is profitable for retailers - that is part of the reason it is so popular
Americans are frightened by the ongoing recession, but, ironically, a large percent are not afraid to spend pretty scary amounts for Halloween!
Incredibly, seven in 10 Americans plan on celebrating the holiday this year—almost 5 percent more than last year—according to the National Retail Federation’s 2011 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey.
The expected expenditures total $6.86 billion! That includes $1 billion on children’s costumes, $1.21 billion on adult costumes, and $310 million on pet costumes.
The average consumer is expected to spend $72.31 on decorations, costumes and candy.
According to the NRF, the amount spent each year on Halloween decorations is second only to spending on Christmas décor.
That’s the “bottom line”! The pagan holidays are “popular” because they make a lot of money for a lot of people.
But as consumers, we need to do some re-thinking. What a person chooses to spend his money on says a lot about his priorities, principles and beliefs.
And what source can we rely on to help us formulate the best priorities, principles and beliefs? The Bible, God’s Guidebook for humanity.
Please don’t be satisfied with what you’ve learned at church about the Bible. I grew up going to church almost every Sunday and eventually realized I had learned very little about the Bible, and much of what I thought I had learned was false! When I began to read the Bible for myself, I was amazed at what I was learning!
Some history that helps explain Halloween-type practices
How did America transform from almost no one observing pagan holidays in the 18 th century to almost everyone observing them in the 20 th century?
The industrial revolutions of the 18 th and 19 th centuries and the technological revolution of the 20 th century greatly raised the average living standard and brought about many other benefits. But they also paved the way for the many materialistic and expensive traditions.
To observe pagan holidays, think of how much is spent for decorations, parties, costumes, gifts (often obligatory “gifts”), greeting cards, wrapping paper, music, “adult beverages,” etc., etc. The modern mass-production of all these things makes them highly profitable for the manufacturers and retailers.
But what motivates people to buy? It is largely the power of advertising . These holidays have been highly commercialized because they are big money-makers. We are bombarded with advertising from seemingly everywhere. It’s difficult not to be brainwashed by all of that ubiquitous influence.
Then the peer pressure is huge. It seems like everyone is celebrating these days. And since it seems that everyone is spending lots of money on attractive stuff, we are made to feel like cheapskates if we don’t do the same. It seems downright un-American to consider doing anything else. Ask yourself: Would you ever dream of wasting your time and money on Halloween-type stuff if you weren’t surrounded by a culture doing these silly things?
It’s especially amazing to see how adult parties and costumes have soared in popularity during the last several years.
Pagan religions have always emphasized idols and images, whereas God forbids those things. God emphasizes truth through the spoken and written word. Therefore pagan religions have always been opportunities for profitable merchandising.
A fascinating illustration is in Acts 19:23-41 And the same time there arose no small stir about that way.  For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen;  Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth.  Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:  So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.  And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.  And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.  And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not.  And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre.  Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.  And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the people.  But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.  And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter?  Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against, ye ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rashly.  For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess.  Wherefore if Demetrius, and the craftsmen which are with him, have a matter against any man, the law is open, and there are deputies: let them implead one another.  But if ye enquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly.  For we are in danger to be called in question for this day's uproar, there being no cause whereby we may give an account of this concourse.  And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.
See All.... The preaching by the apostle Paul in Ephesus led to many turning away from the worship of Diana to the worship of God. This hurt the business of the silversmiths who made silver shrines of Diana. Demetrius stirred up the other silversmiths and a riot erupted that almost got Paul killed.
The 18 th chapter of Revelation describes the downfall of the evil end-time system called Babylon. It will be an economic, political, religious and military system. Let’s notice why the merchants of the that system will be mourning its downfall.
“And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore” (Revelation 18:11And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: See All...). “The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing” (verse 15). Thus we see what their main motivation will be. Their real god will be money.
Observing the biblical festivals generally involves fun social and recreational activities, travel and gift-giving, but a major reason for their lack of popularity is that their observance doesn’t generate much financial profit for anyone. Therefore, there is virtually no advertising, etc.
Let’s remember this admonition from Paul: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:10-11 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
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