Home » Holidays » Halloween Approaches – Have You Bought Your Goblin Soap Dispenser?

Halloween Approaches – Have You Bought Your Goblin Soap Dispenser?

Halloween soap dispensers


Have you noticed in recent years that Halloween has morphed into a Giant Retail Extravaganza? Whole sections of stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot now feature rows and rows of Halloween stuff.

Halloween stuff


Dedicated Halloween and costume stores have popped up in abandoned storefronts. Our very own grocery store stocks phony gravestones to turn your front yard into a creepy cemetery. Icicle lights — once a Christmas decoration — now come in orange and purple, and you can also purchase giant lit spider webs, strobe lights, skull light strings, cauldrons and smoke machines for home use.

More Halloween stuff


The lure to buy and festoon our house with all manner of Halloween stuff can be tempting. Those of us (like me) who can be lured by such things must have extra vigilance and resolve.

I have to remind myself that outfitting the house with complex Halloween decorations will require more spending of my hard-earned money, more storage in the garage and basement, more time spent putting up and taking down, and more clutter. This totally goes against my goal to spend more time in my easy chair with my feet up.


So I say to myself, Must we really have a special Halloween-themed door mat?

Halloween door mats


Will our front door seem naked without a special black and purple Halloween wreath?


Halloween wreath


$149 for a phony, life-size witch — really? But where will she sleep when the holiday ends?

Life size Halloween character


Will our Halloween cookies taste better if I use a special seasonal spatula?

Halloween spatulas


Would skull beverage dispensers really make our parties more festive?

Skeleton drink dispensers


How about you? Do you go all out for Halloween, or are you trying to simplify? What’s the most outrageously needless Halloween-themed item you’ve seen in the stores? I’d love to hear what you find.

Also, if you’re looking for more natural, frugal ways to decorate this autumn, you can check out the Happy Simple Halloween board on Pinterest.


The signature for Eliza Cross

P.S. Congratulations to Lisa R., who won the copy of my new cookbook “101 Things To Do With a Pickle!”

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is the author of 16 books, including Small Bites, 101 Things To Do With Bacon, and BERRIES. She enjoys sharing ideas to simplify cooking, gardening, and home projects. She is also the owner of Cross Media, Inc. and founder of the BENSA Bacon Lovers Society.

8 thoughts on “Halloween Approaches – Have You Bought Your Goblin Soap Dispenser?”

  1. It’s definitely noticeable. Back around the mid-2000’s, I used to throw a Halloween party at my bachelor pad condo for all my single friends. As people started getting married and such, it died off, but I looked through all the decorations and stuff I used to have, and it all seems so quaint compared to what they have now.

    My wife wants to load up but I keep telling her that she has to do so after Halloween when everything is 75% off!

  2. It is crazy! My question is, where does everyone store it all? I have downsized the Halloween, Easter, V-Day, 4th of July and this year will be doing Xmas as well. I have eliminated the crafts and just try to do natural decorating using pumpkins and cornstalks, etc. The animals usually make good work of it by the end of the season and what’s left I throw into the mulch pile. Feels so good to see space in my house.

  3. Now that’s a mental battle I fight every year! I love me some Halloween. I want to have the house the little children run past, but their parents force them to trick or treat for morbid amusement. I ain’t ashamed neither. Great post, and the simple pinterest board has some great ideas.

    And thanks for the Link Love!


  4. I have been so saddened by the transformation of this once delightful holiday into yet another commercialized greed-fest. The decorations that always get to me are the giant lighted blow-up yard things – many of which display the names of certain brands of candy. Speaking of which, I heard on the news that here in Colorado they’re now recommending that’s not a recognizable national band over fears of someone giving out marijuana edibles. Sigh.

    But I think what bothers me the most about it all is watching how all of this has changed the kids. It’s not enough to give out a piece or two of candy anymore – seriously they glare at you if you don’t give each one an entire handful. And don’t EVEN get me started about the parents who drive their kids around for trick-or-treating. In my neighborhood at least it’s like a big SUV will pull up & half a dozen kids pile out, the come to the door demanding candy (never mind that they already have pounds of it in their “treat bags”) and then they get back in the car and drive to the next house that has the lights on. And this goes on until nearly 10pm!

    Sorry for the rant… I think you struck a chord with this one. Suffice it to say that I’m heavily leaning toward shutting off the lights, hiding in the back of the house and boycotting the whole thing this year.

  5. Hmm… I seem to have accidentally deleted part of a sentence there – anyhow, they’re recommending that parents throw out any candy that’s not a name brand because of the pot fears.

  6. I decorate for Fall. Pumpkins, scarecrows. Which takes my home through Thanksgiving. I do love celebrating the change of season with a change of decor, clothing and seasonal recipes. We do enjoy the homes that go all,out on our Halloween Trick or Treat walk with the grand kids but it is just not a holiday we want to spend a lot of time or money on!

  7. As an Australian, I honestly don’t know much about Halloween other than its an American holiday where children dress up and do the ‘trick or treating’ door knocking thing.

    Having said that, I have slowly noticed in the last 5 years or so Halloween decorations popping up in stores here! We don’t celebrate it so I have no idea whose great idea it was other than purely a money making venture. As far as I can tell none of it actually sells…

  8. These things seem tacky to me and aren’t at all an attraction. This year I won’t be doing any decorating at all as I’m in the middle of fixing up an old house but when I do decorate for Halloween it’s more of decorating for autumn. I pull out the squashes from the garden add a few plants and collect pine cones, acorns and the like. I drag out the throws and light candles.


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