Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Halloween Etiquette

At this time of year many sources offer advice on safe trick or treating.  I’d like to focus on etiquette.  For grownups and kids.  Many parents remind their children to say please and thank you while they are gathering their treats.  What I’ve observed over the past few years is that parents aren’t taking the time to explain to their children the trick or treating protocol.

1.  Ring the doorbell of houses that have their lights on.
2.  Wait patiently.
3.  When the person answers the door say, “Trick or treat.”
4.  After the candy is put in the bags say, “Thank you.”
5.  Walk carefully down the steps and back to the grownups.

Why do we say trick or treat?  Basically we’re threatening the homeowner with a trick such as soaping windows (or worse in some cases) if they don’t give us a treat.  Click HERE for a great website about the origins of the phrase and some history of Halloween traditions.

The biggest complaint I heard this year was that grownups are now carrying their own trick or treat containers.  When the door opens they are begging for candy and they’re not even wearing costumes.  This is downright rude.  Candy is expensive and it is purchased with the intention of distributing it to children.  Do what all parents have done over the years: raid your kids’ Halloween candy stash after they go to bed!  Kids shouldn’t eat all that candy anyway.