Halloween is not a big thing in Australia, in fact there are a lot of folk who think that Halloween is an American 'thing' and there is no place for it in Australia. Some of these folk have religious reasons behind why they don't want to participate in Halloween, others see it as part of the Americanisation of Australia, and others see it as just another attempt by retailers to get us to buy stuff we don't really want or need.
My current view, and I reserve the right to change my mind as I grow older and grumpier, is that it is just for kids to have some fun. They can dress up as something; generally, but not always, something scary. Then they get to parade around the streets and have fun in their get-ups and, as a bonus, get 'treats' from people. For those of use handing out the 'treats' we get to see young people coming to our houses dressed up in costumes out having fun out-of-doors.
How can this be a bad thing? In our modern world there seem to be less and less that kids can do to have fun outdoors. Especially in the city and suburban environments.
As for the cost—well this year we quadrupled our effort. We threw caution to the wind. We got two plastic 'Made in China' Halloween pumpkins with a multi-coloured flashing LED light in then for $2 each. A pack of fake 'Made in China' spider web with eight fake black spiders caught up in it, for $2. Also we had a few glow sticks and about half a dozen Halloween themed balloons. For the treats we had a mixture of cuppa-chups, mini-Cheery Ripe chocolates, mini-Freddo Frogs, and mini-Chrunchies.
I figure we probably spent about $50 at the most.
However despite this quadrupling of effort we only managed to get three trick-or-treat groups to the gate. This is 40 percent or two less groups than we got last year (see last year's trick-or-treat posting here) when we made almost no effort at all. Maybe that $2 spider web with the fake spiders in it hanging over the gate was just too realistic.
Or maybe it was my son going out to meet them in his Star Wars Storm Trooper helmet with his light saber turned on that scared them off?