My Halloween tradition has really become a quiet, preparatory one in which I spend an hour or two in frenzied but peaceful kind of absorption that is the Tenderloin store/party warehouse. Bad house music pumps loudly, the staff feels like familiar once-a-year (and Thanksgiving) kind of relatives, and people are the usual weird but cheerier kind of mixed bag. Here, I buy 30% off bric-a-brac like these dnaglies which I will drape on my scooter and little bags of bones known as "table sprinklings: (to be used for later shadow boxing) and then I go home to watch a movie (like The Corpse Bride) and wait for Day of the Dead. I enjoy all this because there is that warm rush of expectation, that seasonal feeling that is still far enough away from Christmas not to be loaded down with other worries about money and gifts and things.
It is also, increasingly, about death (and thus, renewal and rest all in one) in the most pleasant, revivified ways thanks to reflections I have had after living in San Francisco and going to Dia de los Muertos. See the BBC story on the death museum in Mexico.