Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Etiquette

I am planning to send my boys out trick-or-treating tonight, but not without requirement.  They are to be polite and courteous to the people they meet, especially to those nice enough to give them treats.

I was at a Halloween event recently where out of 50 kids, I received less than a handful of "thank-you's".   Each time a child approached me for their candy handout, I would patiently wait to see if he/she would "wow" me with manners.  Most times I remained woefully disappointed.  I found myself looking up at the mothers with a quizzical stare, "Don't you realize your child is supposed to show gratitude?"  

So tonight as my children (Spiderman and Superman) parade around the neighborhood, you'd better believe their vigilant mother will be listening for the coveted "thank-you's".  My young lads are going to learn a Halloween lesson that will hopefully stay put for years to come--politeness is of utmost importance (and it might earn you more candy!)


Elizabeth M said...

Before we left for trick-or-treating this evening, I reminded the kids of the basic rules, the first of which were to say "trick-or-treat" when the door was answered, and the second was to say "thank you" after receiving a treat! We walked with neighbors and while they all needed just a few reminders, generally they did a very good job. The two older boys in the group (10 and 11) did a pretty good job of reminding each other and the younger kids that it is also polite to use the driveway or path to the door, rather than run over the yard. Around here without streetlights, it's also safer!

Right Said Red said...

I agree, if they can't say thank-you, kids don't deserve any candy. Ditto for Halloween costumes. Wear it, or sit this one out!

Kate E. said...

As an update...we got awesome tiny tubs of play-dough, pencils, stickers, and the aforementioned goldfish crackers and some candy bars.

We had TONS of teens this year (all dressed up which was awesome and some super cool costumes like the 6 girls who were all "Miss Some State" with beauty pagents but then dressed with things from their states like grass skirt & hawaiian shirts for Miss Hawaii and a moose hat & flannel & Uggs for Miss Alaska".

Anyway all the stickers and play-dough and pencils are gone. Most of the goldfish. Almost none of the candy. The teens were going crazy of the play-dough.

So Happy Halloween I hope that there aren't too many candy headaches tomorrow for us parents.

Mary Alice said...

This was our most fun halloween. We are in a new, very friendly neighborhood, and it turned out that Halloween was a really great time to meet some of our neighbors.

The last house we visited was open with coffee and tea for grown ups, and outside fire, kids sorting candy, etc. My littlest ones were falling asleep on their feet, so we did not stay long, but it was just amazing to see trick or treating turn in to "come on in and hang out."

My MIL sent me a forward that talked about whether you "do" halloween -- a question frequently asked in Christian homeschooling circles. The author, a christian speaker, was saying that she would be giving out candy, smiles and greetings to her neighbors, not tracts or "Jesus loves you" stickers, because she had learned that being a friend and a part of her community was an important part of discipleship. She does talk to her children (who are older) about the occult, as well as about appropriate costumes, and she acknowledges that not everything about Halloween is "good clean fun," but that there is still plenty of good to be found.

Elena said...


I completely agree about the importance of manners. My children were coached to say thank you at every house. I just need to make sure that they face the candy-givers when thanking them. The backs of little people in costumes somehow doesn't convey gratitude in the way that their faces do!

AR and J Mama said...

Great post and SO important. This was our first year for trick or treating, and we made sure our daughter said thank you to everyone. She had a blast, and even though she needed a reminder at most houses (she's 2 1/2), she said thank you to each and every person who shared their candy with her. One little girl who was trick or treating even gave a piece of candy she received to our daughter...and a flower from her mother's hibiscus plant. :) very cute!