I’m really looking forward to seeing all the creative costumes tonight, and, if I’m lucky, maybe I’ll snag a few pieces of candy myself. Before we all throw on our face paint and witch hats, however, let’s bear in mind these etiquette pointers.
-Don’t scold or shame older children who are out trick-or-treating. As a parent friend of mine noted, would you rather they were out partying and getting into trouble? So long as they aren’t bullying the younger kids, there’s no harm in letting them have a candy bar. Someone else pointed out to me that some children look older than they are because of their size, or have a developmental disability which should be handled with sensitivity, not shame. The bottom line is, Halloween doesn’t have a firm age limit, and there’s no need to impose one.
-If you’re not planning to be home (or don’t want to get up every two minutes) tonight, you might still consider leaving out a plastic pumpkin filled with packaged treats on your porch with a note telling trick-or-treaters to help themselves. Sure, there’s the risk that someone will run off with the whole lot, but you’re no worse off at the end of the evening. It’s a kind, neighborly gesture that’s so much more preferable to the folks who turn off all the lights and pretend nobody’s home.
-Take extra care. If you’re out on the road tonight, be extremely careful and look out for pedestrians. There are so many kids on the streets tonight, so drive slowly and mindfully!
-If you’re out with trick-or-treaters, remind them to only take one piece of candy unless told otherwise by the homeowner. Teach the kids to say thank you, and to keep those complaints about crummy candy out of earshot. Make sure your little ones aren’t stomping on someone’s garden, leaving candy wrappers behind, or ringing the doorbell incessantly.
Be safe. Have fun. Enjoy the day!