Several years ago, I was complaining to a neighbor about the frivolity of Halloween and its high sugar content. "Nobody needs candy," I said, or something like that.
Marta said, "I love Halloween. I think it's great that one night out of the year, everyone gives something to their neighbors." (I paraphrase, of course, because my memory's not THAT great.)
She changed my life. I love Halloween more every year. I know the holiday has its devotees of the macabre and its lovers of the freedom a costume provides, but I'm charmed simply by the many tiny acts of unselfish generosity that happen all up and down the streets of my neighborhood. Actually, I've been starting to think that Halloween is more Christian than Christmas.
(Please don't talk to me about kids with one lousy bandanna and two bulging pillowcases. I don't want my idyllic vision littered with Chompo Bar wrappers.)
The other reason I've been loving Halloween more and more is that for three years now, we've had an exuberant parade through our neighborhood streets, thanks to Bread & Puppet, All the Saints, and revelers too numerous to mention, or to photograph, though you can see a few here from Tess at Flickr.