Religious holiday here, too. For me, it's a time to remember those that have passed on in the last year, which this year included two friends and some beloved pets. My husband and I were talking last night, though, about how this year we were more focused on the living. See, our dog was kicked in the head by a horse a few weeks ago and had to have surgery, but she's fine now. Same week, our 12-year old cat was bitten by a rattlesnake twice, in the face. He disappeared for several days, and we thought he was dead, but he came back, looking like The Elephant Man, but still alive. Also, we ended up having to have an ultrasound on Halloween day, because I had some spotting this week, and the baby was doing great. So this year, the dead sort of took a backseat to those that we were glad to still have around.
When my children are old enough, we will celebrate Samhain as the day to remember our friends and family that have gone before us, and set a place at the table for them to "join" us, but we will also celebrate Halloween, as a time to have fun and trick-or-treat. I loved Halloween as a child, and I do understand that the world is a scary place anyway, so why make it any scarier. But I want my kids to have good memories of loads of candy one day a year, costumes, pumpkins, ghost stories, etc.