My grandparents and most of their generation did not know what to make of Halloween. My mom did go to Halloween Parties, in fetching costumes, but it would have shocked and dismayed them to imagine sending her to people they didn't know -or even people they did know, and they did know quite a few in their area- for "free" candy. I don't think my dad's family celebrated Halloween at all.
When we lived on Long Island, my brother and I did go to the neighbors' houses for trick or treating, and the kids from neighboring houses came to ours. A little later on, in Queens, I did go to a few Halloween Parties and had various amounts of fun. The most fun, however, was the Halloween when I was already living in Cherry Hill, my senior year, but went back to Queens for a party at the end of which we all attended a midnight showing of "The Night of the Living Dead" in costume. There was some pot being smoked nearby...did not matter one way or the other. Everyone was cheering the zombies.
I still like the idea of Halloween and parties, but now it is Samhain that means more to me as I honor the people closest to me who have gone elsewhere on this day when the spirit world is closest to this world. My thoughts are always with you, and you are always with me.
Mom. Nanny. Poppy. Grandma. Grandpa.