Halloween is the one night a year when adults and children come together to share their mutual love of scary stories, dressing up in costumes, and, of course, candy! One of the great delights for children is engaging in the traditional night of trick or treating.
Americans alone spend billions on candy at this time of year. Whether you’re the parent of a very young child or you’re ready to venture off alone with your friends, there are a few things you should pay attention to when you’re about to start trick or treating.
Remembering basic etiquette is a must when you’re about to trick or treat. This is because you may interact with strangers, some of whom may not be in the holiday spirit. It’s always important to remain respectful when you’re ready to trick or treat and consider how you approach your neighbors and friends.
Trick or treating is a super fun and exciting opportunity to make friends, get to know your neighbors, and to enjoy plenty of sweet treats, but you’ll need to abide by these five etiquette tips to ensure everyone has an enjoyable night!
To find out five trick-or-treat etiquette tips for a safe and happy Halloween, keep reading.
1. Politeness and manners are free and always necessary
Remembering basic manners is one of the most important things to think about if you’re a child (or adult, we don’t judge) who’s about to trick-or-treat. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget the value of please and thank you. Still, basic politeness and manners go a long way, especially if you’re engaging with new neighbors or people you’ve never interacted with.
Remember, when you’re trick or treating, you’re entering someone’s grounds or property, even if you’re simply standing on their porch. Think about how you would want to be treated if someone came to you wanting candy on Halloween. Saying please and thank you before and after you take your candy will go a long way, plus it’s a chance to sharpen your gratitude skills.
If you knock on a neighbor’s door and see that they’ve dressed up for the occasion, why not pay them a compliment? They’ll likely comment on your costume, so return the kind favor. Plus, compliments can increase your happiness as well as the person on the receiving end.
One last politeness tip to remember is never to pester your neighbor. If they don’t want to answer their door, don’t shout or ring their doorbell over and over again. You never know why people might not want to celebrate Halloween, so it’s always best practice to be respectful and quiet during trick or treating.
2. Don’t be too greedy!
Although you might be tempted to grab handful after handful of your favorite sweet treats, try to resist the urge! Remember, other trick-or-treating parties will follow who will want to indulge in the same candy as you, so try to be mindful of other people around you.
This is also important as you won’t want to come across as greedy to the kind neighbors and homeowners who are kind enough to hand out candy to you. Don’t snatch or grab large handfuls to get ahead of your friends.
Additionally, if you notice your favorite candy type, don’t just take handfuls of this. Make sure you leave enough for your friends and other trick-or-treating parties.
3. Make it clear you’re ready to hand out candy and think about allergies!
This is one for those preparing to hand out candy this Halloween.
When preparing for Halloween, make it clear that you’re willing to hand out candy. You can do this by leaving a jack-o-lantern outside your home or leaving a sign for trick-or-treaters. These visual cues take away a lot of uncertainty associated with treat-or-treating and mean that parties know which houses to go to and which to avoid.
Another important thing to remember when you’re handing out candy is to ensure you consider allergens or candy preferences to cater to people’s needs. Try to avoid candy with nuts, milk, egg or other prominent allergens that could stop trick-or-treaters from enjoying Halloween.
Try to keep treats meant for trick-or-treaters with allergies separate from your other candy to reduce cross-contamination. When you hear a knock at your door, communicate with trick-or-treaters that you have options for anyone with allergies in a separate bowl!
4. Pay attention to a house’s visual cues
Now back to you trick-or-treaters. While hunting for candy, it can be easy to assume that everyone is ready with a bowl of treats by their door. However, this isn’t the case. Over 172 million people in the United States celebrate Halloween. Although that is a huge number, not everyone will be available or willing to carve a pumpkin and invest in some sweet treats.
To avoid confusion and awkward waiting on people’s porches, try to pay attention to visual cues outside people’s properties. Often, people will put decorations like pumpkins, spider webs, or the occasional spooky skeleton on their lawn or porch to signal that they’re in the festive mood.
Try to stick to these homes and avoid properties with no lights on, no decorations, and the curtains shut. They may be out or signaling that they’re not in the spooky spirit. It’s important to respect this at all times to avoid pestering anyone who’s not celebrating Halloween.
5. Always stay on the sidewalk and be respectful of other people’s properties
While you’re lost in the sugar-induced haze and mesmerized by the array of costumes surrounding you, it can be easy to forget your environment. However, you’ll need to maintain situational awareness at all times.
That means you should always stick to the sidewalks and ensure you don’t run across the roads to get to the house with the best Halloween decorations. Not everyone celebrates Halloween, so there may well be residents commuting from work, running errands, or simply driving around during the evening. Remember to be respectful and avoid getting in their way while crossing roads.
Another important thing to remember is to be respectful of people’s property. That means you shouldn’t walk on their lawns if you can avoid it and not touch their decorations. Not only is this disrespectful, but it might also harm your chances of being invited back to trick-or-treat or discourage your neighbors from handing out candy next year!
Trespassing is also an important thing to consider when you’re on the hunt for candy. You should never trespass on gated communities and other HOA communities that use access control door locks. These mechanisms restrict access to private areas within a community. These areas aren’t accessible to the public, only to residents, so you should always steer clear of these areas; otherwise, you’re breaking the law!
Don’t forget to have fun and have a Happy Halloween!
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