1. Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin doughnuts, pumpkin butter, pumpkin patches, pumpkin carving…
2. It’s voluntary. If you’re not into it, switch off the porch light and stay in and watch a movie. No need to book a travel agent for the family guilt trip that would accompany skipping out on Christmas or Thanksgiving.
3. Naughty nurses, French maids, sexy tigers, strapping firemen, shirtless cowboys…
4. It’s a holiday for everyone. Christmas is for Christians, Hanukah is for Jews, Thanksgiving is for Americans, Halloween is for people who like to eat candy, dress up, and drink too much — aka an all-inclusive fête.
5. The usual creepers — that neighbor who cleans his rifle in the front yard, the lady with two teeth — become the stars of the show.
6. It means you’re only one day away from post-Halloween candy discounts. If I’m doing my math right, the day after Halloween you can buy a bag of Reese’s for roughly two and a half shekels.
7. You get to walk around talking like Bela Lugosi — “I vant to suck your blood.”
8. You get to find out who the crazy families are in your neighborhood before you actually have to deal with them. The parents who don’t let their kids go out for trick-or-treating are generally the same families that expect their children to not kiss anyone until marriage and have annual Harry Potter bonfires — STAY AWAY!
9. It’s easy. You don’t need to twist a historical story about how European Protestants peacefully mixed with Native Americans (rather than, you know, decimating them with disease). Nor do you have to organize family-wide gift exchanges or sit around a table with your weird family drowning in “I’m thankful for…” clichés. Your only tasks: Dress up, go to some ridiculous party, drink, and eat candy.
10. It’s where suburbia shines. Halloween isn’t really Halloween in big cities; there are parties and skimpy dresses, sure, but at least where I grew up, Halloween was about going house to house with my brother and dad in the weird but invariably charming costume that Mom had worked on for months. When you’re a kid, knocking on someone’s door as Superman feels amazing — it’s a chance to live in a fantasy world and other people are, on this one day, willing to be a part of it. In Paris or New York or really any big city for that matter, you would have to have a borderline illegal knowledge of apartment door codes to go trick-or-treating. And, even if you did, most people aren’t planning to hand out candy to tiny ghouls and witches just because it’s the last day of October.