I like to avoid Halloween completely. It comes from living in Baltimore City for many years, a stone's throw from Greenmount Avenue. Few little kids braved our long driveway, but lots of hoodie-sporting older teens with nary a mask did. Go buy your own #@#*(@ candy! When he was still around, I would answer the door with our Rottweiler, Max. Off the leash. He'd leap on the glass-over-cast-iron vestibule door and usually scare the yutes away. I miss that dog! After he died, we just turned off all the downstairs lights and hid upstairs, hoping for the best.
These days, Mr Minx usually hangs out on the front porch with a book and a bowl of candy, but in this economy, why should we be expected to hand out free cavities to strange kids, most of whom don't live in the neighborhood and are driven in from the city? So we're going to spend the evening elsewhere and hope no beasties will mistake our turned-off porch light for an invitation and pound furiously on our all-glass storm door, breaking it.
Holidays should be fun, not torturous.