now that i've click-baited with my thread title, i'll clarify.
what i learned this year is that, while halloween is for everyone, it definitely lacks something when kids aren't involved.
i don't have kids. at the moment i don't want kids--my wife and i were just married a few months ago, and we both want kids, just not yet. the feeling i have today isn't a longing to be a father.
but i've spent most of my adult life treating halloween as an adult holiday (mainly since i don't have kids). my focus has always been on my halloween party. and the halloween party is fine, and i'll continue to do it, but this year maybe more than ever it felt like a regular adult party with costumes. outside of the costumes, the decorations, and some of the food, there's nothing that made saturday night feel like a halloween event rather than just a bunch of adults hanging out. i realize those elements define most of what a party is, but it just didn't really "feel" like people getting together to celebrate halloween so much as it felt like a bunch of adults getting together to drink, and we all dressed up first.
last night was kinda lonely. no trick or treaters, nobody around but my wife and i. as we were looking through all the facebook posts about waves of trick or treaters and all the things going on for the kids, it felt like that's where the essence of the holiday lies. i think next year we'll do our party as always, but hopefully we'll find a way to get involved in all that goes on on the actual night of halloween too.