Costumes alone have gone through phases since my childhood. When I was younger costumes were made at home, and only children who's parents didn't have time to make them would purchase a store costume. Later, it seemed as though everyone bought theirs and it was frowned upon to have home made ones. I miss the creativity of a homemade costume, and the time you spend together to make it.
Then comes the baking. SOOO much baking! Baking for home, baking for school, parties, bake sales... It's just one night when they all go out for candy, why do we need to make them treats for that?
After that comes the decorating... One pumpking used to be enough, but it seems now there is more and more competition for the best decorated house, or the scariest front lawn. As the mother to a young child, I don't appreciate that scary front lawns, it simply makes it harder for me to get her out of the house as it's scary outside. One pumpkin isn't enough anymore, 2 or 3 seem to be the minimum now, and at least one of those will get smashed.
This year I will hand make the costume, I will bake and decorate the cupcakes, I will keep the scary big kids away, and I will put out the pumpkin. The smile on the faces of the children when they get home with their candy, and the "thank you" that proves there are still some manners, make it all worth it!