It is that time of year again when children dress up in ghoulish outfits and come knocking on your door looking for sweets. Halloween can be fun for both young and old but everyone will have a much better time if they follow some basic rules of Halloween etiquette.
Trick or treat manners for your children
If your little ones are heading out to trick or treat this Halloween, here are a few manners to bear in mind:
1. In most neighbourhoods, the implicit rule is to only visit houses that display a lit pumpkin on their doorstep. Pumpkins or other Halloween decorations show that the people inside are happy to receive trick or treaters.
2. Make sure your children don’t just grab handfuls of sweets when presented with a bowl. Similarly, if someone has left a bucket of candy on their doorstep, only take one or two so that there are some left for other children.
3. If they are offered sweets they don’t like or – horror of horrors – a piece of fruit, they should take one anyway and refrain from making derogatory comments. Asking for something else is also very rude.
4. It is easy for basic good manners to fly out the window when there is so much sugar-fuelled excitement. Remind your children to wait their turn and to say thank you before moving on to the next house.
5. Be respectful of other people’s property. Walk along the path rather than on the grass and do not discard of sweet wrappers in gardens or flowerbeds.
Halloween etiquette tips for homeowners
If you are staying at home and handing out sweets to little ghosts, zombies and monsters, the following tips will ensure that everyone has a pleasant evening.
1. Be fair and give everyone roughly the same amount of sweets. You should not feel obligated to hand out more than one sweet to each child. Make sure that all the treats you hand out are individually wrapped. Many parents will not allow their children to eat homemade goodies or loose popcorn.
2. Create a safe environment by removing obstructions such as scooters, skateboards or bicycles from the front of your house. If you have a lit-up pumpkin on your doorstep, consider using artificial candles to reduce the fire risk.
3. If you like to dress up and put on scary music, keep it child-friendly to avoid frightening the younger trick or treaters. You can always ramp up the fear level later in the evening when older children are doing the rounds.
4. If you run out of sweets or have had enough of answering the door, simply move your pumpkin inside to signal that you are no longer partaking.
Halloween is a much anticipated highlight of the autumn months and by adhering to these etiquette rules you can ensure that this spooktacular holiday goes off without a hitch.