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The Beehive Asks: What are the dos and don’ts of trick-or-treating?


Let’s talk trick-or-treating.

I’ve seen a couple stories about trick-or-treating laws that ban teens from going door to door. I guess the point is to stop kids from being bullies. I’ve heard folks groan about older kids participating, but I hadn’t realized some communities actually passed laws banning the practice. What do you think, should teens be allowed to trick-or-treat? What age is too old?

On the flip side, does anyone have feeling about parents who take infants trick-or-treating? Is it too scary? And is it right for parents of kids too-young to walk on their own, or even eat candy, to collect treats? Or is it an important ritual for parents, no matter the age? Is any age too young?

What about courtesy? Do you care if kids say thank you? Try to grab the candy on their own? Take too many? Wear a costume? Ring your doorbell over-and-over-and-over again? Come back for seconds? Tell you your candy is sucks? Or, is it all in the name of fun and most any behavior goes?

There’s also a debate brewing over whether this year Halloween should be celebrated on Saturday, mainly because of religious beliefs. What do you think? Is Saturday easier to deal with? Or should it be on the 31st now matter what day of the week it lands on?

Weigh in people. What are the dos and don’ts of the trick-or-treating ritual?

Responses to "The Beehive Asks: What are the dos and don’ts of trick-or-treating?"

blake says:

My main credo for Halloween:
Avoid anything that’s called ‘Harvest Festival’ or looks like an organized event that reeks of the post-Sept.11 paranoia that spawned them.

(Remember the Great Anthrax Scare?)
(Oh no, we better all meet in a parking lot somewhere where we’ll have no Stranger Danger!)

Trick or Treating gets people out and walking amongst their neighbors. It’s a good thing.
It’s a community building thing.

Pamela Dyer says:

If the light is off don’t ring the bell
1. They don’t want you at all
2. It is too late
3. They have run out of candy

If you can’t walk you don’t need candy – with the obvious exception for the disabled

If you have cleavage or pit hair you’re too old

You should trick or treat in your neighborhood. I hate to see vans pull up on the corner and download a swarm of kids that don’t live anywhere near my house

Stay off the lawn – use the sidewalk

If you don’t like the candy don’t take it

I have found that most children say thank you and most adults with them insist on it

People who have issues with Halloween will have issues on any day it is celebrated

Christy says:

I think if the kid can’t eat the candy they are too young to be trick or treating, but I understand the parents wanting to take out their cute little dressed up kid.
Your never too old to trick or treat, just wear a costume. If you can’t take the time to make a mask with a paper bag, or cut two holes in a sheet, you don’t deserve candy.

Joy Unconfined says:

If your kid is in a stroller, your kid should not be trick or treating (unless you’re all accompanying an older sibling… then you get a pass for collecting candy with a kid that’s really not old enough.)

If your kid grabs at my candy, I’m yanking the bowl back. *I* hand out the candy, and I’m usually pretty generous, but if your child is too rude to be grateful for what he/she is given, your kid deserves nothing at all.

MY kid always said “thank you”. Because I was watching. And reminding. EVERY time. It’s just common courtesy.

I don’t mind teens cleverly costumed, as long as they’re polite. But the rude kid wearing a sweat suit with a plastic dollar store mask and holding three pillowcases of candy… I’m not inclined to find that terribly in keeping with tradition. You can tell who’s having a fun with friends, put some time and thought into costume or makeup, and is just out to have fun from the little freeloaders who just want as much free candy as they can get from 30 different neighborhoods.

Courtesy. If you say my candy sucks, I’ll say “Then give it back, ungrateful child.” For goodness sake, say thank you for ANYthing you get from the kindness of strangers, whether you like it or not!

Do NOT ring the doorbell over and over. They may be out of candy, or someone in the household is sick. All you’re doing is being a nuisance. Ring once… wait a minute… then leave and go on to the NEXT house with a light on.

At the end of the night… after about 7:30pm… I don’t mind “coming back for seconds” from neighborhood kids. I’m just about ready to turn off my porch light, and they’re probably going to get generous handfuls, because *I* don’t need all that sugar in my household.

Just celebrate Halloween on Halloween… unless we’re going to start celebrating Halloweeneen TOO!

And please… please teach your children the REAL basis of the holiday, from all cultural perspectives… and make a point of looking at Day of the Dead celebrations as well, and the differences. Use it as a chance to fill those little minds with something other than, “I want” and “what can I get for nothing?”

Have a fun and happy Halloween!

Stephen says:

I agree with the above except: No teen candy. I get tired of seeing teens with a pillowcase and no costume or just some make-up.

Blake is right, this is a neighborhood thing, so if the teen lives in the neighborhood and/or I know them, then fine.

Some folks are so worried they are dressing up thier kids and only trick-or-treating in the sanctioned areas, like the Tower District or the mall. I’m fine with that. My little friend at Bullard Talent dresses up and then the school does a ‘school walk’ around Fig Garden, where all the store vendors have candy for them. The kinderkids go first and it’s a delight to see, but by the 5th graders it becomes a long line of ‘hold out the bag get your candy who cares’ kindof thing, and loses the whole ‘trick or treat!’ fun of it all.

But definitely – lights on = go.

And EVERYONE should go to Jimmy the Junker’s house on Palm (can’t recall cross-street, Brown?). This is a wonderful Fresno treasure, a house constantly undergoing upgrades using whatever historical Fresno antiques available. If you go during the day, Jimmy will give you a tour if you ask nicely…and your kids will adore the dragons in the back yard while you go nuts for the historical water tower, the stained glass in the old Madera High entrance Archway, and all the tiny pieces of Fresnocana he’s got.

When Jimmy passes (or even before), I hope they turn it into a tourist treasure, like the Winchester Mystery House.

oops, got off-topic.

Happy Halloween!

Matt says:

I agree with the above comment. Get out and have fun going door to door. If people have religious issues with it then they shouldn’t do it regardless of the day. Why would something be morally wrong on Sunday but not Saturday?
I’ll give out candy to any kids or teens that come to my door as long as they’re respectful.

Donald Munro says:

Regarding the Halloween-on-a-Sunday debate: Something tells me that out of all those pious folks wanting to move the festivities to a Saturday, not many take such a similar principled stand toward watching football on Sundays.

Heather says:

I would rather see teens in costumes than parents holding out a bag for their infant. The teens in our neighborhood have always been polite, and I usually tell them to come back at a certain time and they can have the rest of our candy (I don’t think any have ever taken us up on it, though). I have a rule that, unless you are an obviously shy toddler, you MUST say “Trick or Treat,” and not just thrust your bag into my face and wait expectantly. I agree that kids should Trick or Treat in their own neighborhood, although I’ve noticed that, in our neighborhood, fewer and fewer houses have their lights on each year. I believe Halloween should ALWAYS be celebrated on the 31st, unless we want to start moving Christmas around, too.

We love Halloween, and it makes me a little sad that the “community” feel of the holiday has fallen by the wayside. I appreciate places like the malls providing a place for kids to go and wear their costumes, but it’s not the same Halloween we knew as kids.

Vika says:

LOL I have to disagree- first of all, because these have been around a LOT longer than 9-11. I grew up on these. Granted it was because I lived in a super-sheltered Christian household that thought trick-or-treating to be evil, but it’s a great alternative any way, especially for those who were deprived as children… you still meet everyone and then some because more than the locals pop through. For kids who are easily scared, they usually monitor the costumes a bit, too. What I liked most was you got a whole lot more than candy out of it- games, cake, carnival food, you name it. It’s like going to the fair sans rides and vendors and FREE!
I went trick-or-treating with my kids one year and liked it, but it wasn’t as fun and we ended up attending a party AND a festival as well to round out the evening.
I’d still take them this year, but our new neighborhood really sucks for that sort of thing. It’s kinda poor and just a little scary for a parent with children as young as my own.

Vika says:

Oh, man… I gotta admit, my first thought was “if you ban teens from trick-or-treating, we’ll just get more teen parents so they can have an excuse and take their kids.” It’s more fun to take my kids anyway… LOL. Now if only I lived in a good neighborhood where trick-or-treating was actually appealing *sigh*