Ghosts, ghouls, trick-or-treaters...oh my! Halloween is the favorite holiday of many. In fact, the national average, per person spending on Halloween is well over $70. Since it appears we enjoy this holiday and enjoy sharing it with others, we really should consider the etiquette involved.
There are three major players in this Halloween game: trick-or-treaters, parents/escorts (those who escort the trick-or-treaters), and homebodies (candy suppliers). Each of these players has very specific etiquette to follow.
Those who choose to participate should make every effort to provide a safe environment by clearing the entry of anything that could be harmful to young ones. Remember, they will be in costumes that may limit their eyesight. When they reach the door, smile, they are guests. Offer candy to all, including escorts. Besides the fact that it's polite it just might keep the escorts' hand out of the child's bags. In addition, don't scare the little ones! Decorations shouldn't be too realistic.
(Here's me in the KCRA/My 58 studios)
For those non-participators, try to avoid becoming irritated with revelers. They are enjoying themselves for just the one night. Turn off the lights, turn on a movie, and try to ignore the noise.
Before knocking on doors, prepare your children by giving them all the rules. Choose this as your "teachable moment" for all forms of respect and gratitude. Remind them to stay on the hardscape and out of gardens and grass. They should knock quietly, say "trick-or-treat" and "thank you", and step aside after receiving treats. Other Spidermen may want to accept their treat as well.
Note: There is no bona fide rule about when the child is too old to trick-or-treat. It's an individual decision. One rule is fair though. If a person wants to trick-or-treat, that person should be in costume and follow all the etiquette expected. A Halloween Party would be best for those older children who don't feel comfortable traveling door to door.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T...sing it, Aretha. Want a full bag of goodies? Well, you have to give a little to get a little. Respecting people and property goes a long way to fulfill that goal.
Respect homebodies by traveling in smaller groups, no larger than five. Larger groups tend to be loud and rambunctious. Don't knock if the lights are out. This is the "signal" of the non-participant. In addition, only knock or ring the doorbell once--never after 8 p.m. Remember to say "Thank you" when given a treat, even if it isn't your favorite. Finally, respect neighbor's grass and flowerbeds by keeping feet on the sidewalk. And, never touch anything on the porch.