Where I grew up in Pennsylvania, there were no neighborhoods to go trick or treating at. Mom and Dad drove us in a car for 5-6 houses of people that we knew out in the country. Even driving, this took quite a long time. When Andrea and I moved to Delaware and purchased our home, we live in a large neighborhood. In those first few years, we would see close to 250 kids come to our door. This year, with Abbie being 2, we met up with a group of friends and went trick or treating together. These are some lessons I have learned from the last six years that you should keep in mind.
1. Trick or Treating With Friends is More Fun: Like almost any other activity, a large group makes the evening more enjoyable.
2. Trick or Treating is not socialism: While our group was fun- there was (a joking) suggestion of pooling all the loot and dividing it equally. Trick or Treating is a winner takes all sport. If you can get the better candy- more power to you.
3. Find the Young, Wealthy Neighborhood: This may sound like social profiling, and it is. Our neighborhood used to be the exciting neighborhood to visit on Halloween night. But our numbers have continually decreased the last two years. We found out why tonight. The neighborhood behind us has bigger homes, and bigger candy. I’m all for stopping in someone else’s neighborhood, especially if you can get in 5 houses what normally takes 10 houses in your own neighborhood.
4. Shake the dust of your feet at those who don’t participate: Yeah, you could egg their home or toilet paper their trees…but shaking the dust of your feet as you leave their yard is the proper Biblical response. These are the same people who say Ba-humbug at Christmas.
5. No Double-Dipping Unless You Change Costumes: Hitting up the same house twice (or three or four times) is just wrong. but if you have the ingenuity to change costumes and hit the same houses again, I will gladly reward you with more candy. I think all kids should be encouraged to think outside the box when it comes to Halloween.
6. Speaking of Costumes- No Costumes, No Candy: This is a hard and fast rule. I was amazed in our neighborhood the amount of kids who would come up to the house without a costume. Where is the creativity? Even if money is tight, certainly there are things around the house that can be used for a costume. One year, it was so bad that I told Andrea that I was going to put up a sign that said “No Costume, No Candy.” Lucky for some kids, I never did.
7. Shame on Parents who collect candy for the baby in the “car.” Or maybe the baby is back home. At least let me see the baby dressed up in some sort of costume. You and I both know that you are the one who is going to eat the candy. At least let me see your kids so I can give you the candy with a slightly clear conscience.
What are some of your rules or lessons that you’ve learned from Halloween past? What would you add to the list?