Proper Husband and I are firm believers in letting kids be kids. We build blanket forts, splash in puddles in our rain boots, and speak in silly voices when the mood strikes.
We also believe in manners, though.
Is there such a thing as Halloween etiquette? Isn't that being super annoying and overthinking it?
Yes, and not exactly. Let me explain.
I grew up in a microscopic town where we knew everyone. (It was also in Ripley's Believe It or Not because the post office for Georgetown, Maryland, in Kent County was located in Frederickstown, Maryland, in Cecil County. Fun fact.)
Anyway, in my sleepy little Eastern Shore town, our neighbors kept the light on until they'd seen all the kids in the area, which they could count on their fingers. They didn't have to buy much candy, so I recall getting full sized candy bars (Score!) which made up for the lack of houses to go to. If there were homemade treats, I could eat them, because we KNEW the person who'd made them.
Ruth Sigler's house smelled like cigarette smoke and her French poodles. She had no children. She always made us treats. We ate them.
I feel like Halloween today is splitting the difference. You are trusting the people whose homes you visit, but not enough to eat homemade treats. It's a different world than it was when I was a kid (as evidenced by my upcoming 40th birthday and my realization that, um, I grew up in the 80's.)
What does that mean?
1. Use "The Light Rule."
If the porch light isn't on, they aren't serving candy. They might be out of town. They might be infirm. They might hate Halloween. Whatever, dude. Move on.
2. Explain yourself.
Be prepared to explain your kids' costumes, or prep them to explain them. If you are dressed up like an evil Minion, your 60 year old neighbors will have no clue what you are. They will smile and nod when you tell them, even though they'll still have no idea. There's common courtesy in the exchange. Be ready for it. After all, you're getting candy out of the deal.
3. Don't be a Greedy Grabber.
Even if your neighbor got the microscopic "fun size" candies, if they are giving out one candy per person, that's all you get. Don't go after it with your claws like a tiger. One.
4. Don't judge.
If your neighbor is a dentist and is giving out toothbrushes, it is your job to smile and say thank you like they'd just given you a Reese's cup. Well, or maybe some Dots. Like, not the best candy ever but something good. A smile at a toothbrush (or a pencil, or a plastic slinky) is courteous. Not every house is a home run.
5. Use your words.
When a small person dressed like Ariel comes to my door on October 31st, I know what she wants.
But I still love it when she says, "Trick or Treat."
And I love it even more when she says thank you.
Hope the imps like your candy.
Ta ta for now,