Ho, ho, boo!

Times Staff Writer

THE LATEST uncanny merger -- and we’re not talking Wall Street here -- is the new-age marriage of Christmas and Halloween. Quintessential Christmas icons -- trees and ornaments, wreaths and garlands, decorative ribbons and even holiday cookie cutters -- are increasingly being given a Halloween spin. Recent sightings of the curious trend: a Santa perched atop a pumpkin holding a jack-o’-lantern, an orange-and-black tinsel tree with a wicked boot base, and a haloed, angel-winged santos figure dressed as a witch.

You get the drift.

Halloween is big business, after all. It’s emerged as the second-biggest holiday decor season, behind Christmas. The National Retail Federation estimates sales to reach $5.77 billion this year for candies, costumes and decorations. And the good news about this giddy merger? It’s now possible to decorate your tree in October and leave it up through New Year’s.