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?