In the blink of an eye, school started and now Halloween is here! When I was growing up, Halloween wasn’t celebrated in my home since my family had emigrated from Ireland many years ago. Of course, that wasn’t the case when my children came along. In trying to be a good mom, I’d sew their costumes. As I wasn’t much of a sewer, I found purchasing the same item for $20. was a better idea!! Does Halloween really need etiquette? Yes, it does and here are some tips to making it a special evening.

  • Have fun dressing up…put some thought into it. A mask and a winter coat doesn’t take much imagination. If you come to our home, my husband will love to try and guess who you are dressed up as.
  • Try to have enough candy for most of the children in your neighborhood. Keep nut allergies in mind. Licorice or gummies would be better. Some parents may choose to give out pencils instead but I’m afraid it’s candy that they want!!
  • Keep excited or large pooches away from the door. They could scare or be scared of your goblins & ghosts ringing the bell.
  • Encourage your children to practice traffic safety. Consider attaching reflector strips to the front & back of the costume.
  • Teach them to be respectful of people’s homes. Don’t jump over hedges or trample the front garden to get to the door. Walk up using the path instead.
  • If there’s a bit of a crowd at the door, remind the children to wait their turn and not push past other children. Don’t forget there’ll lots of little ones who could be scared or fall if pushed by children running on the sidewalk.
  • Walk to the front door. Ring once and yell, “Trick or Treat!”. Ringing the bell 13x’s isn’t appreciated.
  • Say “Thank you” and walk politely down the path to the next house.
  • If it’s obvious that no one is home, just keep passing by. If a neighbor puts out a bowl of candy, respect the honor system and just take one piece.
  • Halloween starts at dusk and ends at 8:30 pm. Most people really don’t want older teens coming out at this time to go “trick or treating”. However, if your teen comes to our home, my husband will make them sing a song and do a dance before getting candy!!

Have fun, stay safe. Remind your children not to eat anything until they get home so you can inspect it.

Maria Doll, certified Style & Etiquette consultant.


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