Actually, there are a lot of great things about living in the US. I have had the opportunity to travel a bit, and while I enjoy being in other places and visiting with people from other countries, I really like living here.
A lot of Americans in Europe will try to disguise themselves by not wearing jeans and sneakers together, They will try to look like Europeans. Personally, if I am going to be walking a lot, my running shoes will come out and I will happily have comfortable feet while branding myself as an American. I figure if anyone ever says anything, I will reply "hey, we invented blue jeans, we can wear what we want with them"!
Actually, most the Europeans I have worked and visited with are real people who don't give a hang about what you wear anyway.
Originally, I started decorating for Halloween because I had kids. I thought it might give them something to have a party around, or to organize an activity with friends around. They were encouraging, and there were many Halloweens where both my daughter and sons "gangs" showed up. In some years, they trick-or-treated us several times the same night.
When they went to college, I started asking myself why I was doing it. We had some off years on trick-or-treaters and the amount of work seemed disproportionate.
I take a week off for decorating, (ok, sometimes 2). It is very relaxing to work on problems like "how can I make the pulley system stay up in the trees during a strong wind", as opposed to work related problems. It's mentally relaxing and creative in a strange sort of way. I also sometimes encounter neighborhood kids who tell me what changes I have put in over the last several years... even though the encounter takes place in spring, or summer. I also know that I get about twice as many trick or treaters as my neighbors down the street. People come and say "we always save you for last" or they pull in as a multi-car caravan, get candy, take pictures in the yars, and take off again. Quite a few underprivileged show up too. So I guess, I continue to do it for me, and for the kids who appreciate it.
Except for one year I have never had much luck getting a crew to help with the yard. My son and his friends helped 3 years. The first, they were too young and became bored. and left The next year, worked great. All of them had pulley ghosts that they used to great affect as kids came up the walk. The year after that, they discovered girls and mid-way through the haunt, I noticed a bunch of girls walking up the street, followed by my crew (still in their black costumes (intended to hide them more than scare people)). I asked them where they were going and they responded "we are going stalking Mr Bloom!". Great memory.
My neighbors are tolerant but have not gotten into Halloween much. However on 2 years, a neighbor across the street also put up a display, totally different from mine but very well done. Another neighbor also puts up a seasonal display of store purchased stuff that is nice. In the last 3 years, my display has been in the paper twice, and on the news once.
In any case, Happy Halloween, and welcome to my display.