I loved Halloween as a kid. I lived in small Wisconsin towns during my prime trick-or-treating years, and I have fond memories of running around the neighborhood loading up on candy. After I grew out of trick-or-treating, Halloween kind of receded into the background. The whole costume party thing has always felt like a hassle to me.
Halloween started making a comeback when Meg and I bought our first house in Minneapolis. We had a lot of kids in that neighborhood, and for the first time, I was the one passing out the candy. I discovered it was just as much fun to give as to receive. Halloween reached a new level when the girls were old enough to truly enjoy it, and these last few years of trick-or-treating have been a blast. The only downside is that no one really trick-or-treats in our current neighborhood. The lots are huge and the houses are set well off the street, not conducive for optimal candy hoarding. Fortunately, there are lots of great neighborhoods near by, and the girls actually enjoy working a new area every year. Like little candy mercenaries.
Meg and I have been surprised over the years by the number of people who don't pass out candy. Last year one house even had a sign on the door saying "No candy-may have swine flu." If you live in a neighborhood with a lot of kids, it's pretty lame not to participate. Meg has even gone so far as to say it's unAmerican, and I'm inclined to agree. Come on people, give the kids some damn candy.