we dont have halloween 'officially' here in australia, yet stores sell costumes and plastic pumpkin baskets, and promote sweets. Also we dont usually have 99% of kids running around the neighbourhood, if you going to let the kids go trick or treating, its best to have adult supervision, there is always some weirdo around. Last year, i think only one kid came to my house, this year, none.
Its the same with valentines day, so much commercialism here for a holiday that has got nothing to do with us down under!
I wouldn't be surprised it we adopt thanksgiving next.
I will admit that I like christmas for these reasons:
all that xmas music and decorations lift up my spirits and put me in a cheery mood.
spending time with family (isnt that what it should be about?)
shopping!!!!!(what woman doesn't like that? and xmas is a good excuse to go shopping)
seeing the joy on my kids faces when they open their presents to reveal something that they always wanted.
xmas is known as the 'silly season', so it is a good excuse to be silly, like singing to the xmas carols playing overhead in the supermarket while i shop - out loud.
All these holidays (including easter), have become so commercialised that we forget what they really are. But maybe that's ok, because if we wanted to actually celebrate a pagan ritual, would that mean we would need a blood sacrifice?