Christmas is supposed to be about joy and goodwill, sharing gifts with others and getting joy in return. Unfortunately, Christmas tends to be a time of spending money, stress, and work. For too many people, there is so much effort that must go into Christmas, from shopping to making Christmas dinner to family strife that they have no energy left for joy. They huddle down within their own family, not even thinking of the outside world. Pretty far from the Christmas ideal.
Now, consider Halloween. People have fun creating delightful costumes, generally a process that they consider fun and exciting. They spend only what they can afford. They go places to be with friends and loved ones. For one day, the children become the children, not merely of one family or another, but of the community. Children in costumes travel around town, everyone admiring their costume. People spend money to buy candy to give to the children of complete strangers. They open their doors to the community. For some people, this may be the only time of the year when they encounter their neighborhood as a community rather than a bunch of separate houses that happen to share a street.
I hope you will consider this as we approach this most communal of seasons.