Trick or Treating Etiquette- or- Historical Costumes Get More Candy

Donald Duck Trick or Treat

I loved trick or treating when I was younger. I really loved it. I loved dressing up, I loved (and continue to love) candy, and I loved all the excitement and spookiness of the holiday. However, once I stopped trick or treating and started passing candy out I realized that there are a few rules of etiquette that should be followed by all trick or treaters.

1. Once you are officially a “teenager” i.e. 13, you should stop trick or treating. For real. I hate giving candy out to older kids who are running a muck all over my neighborhood and stomping over the little kids who should be the ones having the fun. I know it’s harsh. It felt harsh to me when I turned 13 and no longer went trick or treating. But it’s necessary. Let the younger one’s have the fun.

2. Say thank you. I mean, it’s just good manners. I don’t have to give you candy. I’m not afraid of your “tricks.” Just say thank you. And if you don’t say thank you, I curse the piece of candy I’m giving you. Curse it, I say! Be ye warned. Manners count.

3. Say “trick or treat”. Don’t just stand there with your candy bag out and that expectant look on your face. Irreverent whippersnappers.

4. Please send out your kids with flashlights or glow-sticks. It’s nighttime people. That means it’s dark outside. When your children are 45 and in therapy because one time when they were  8 and trick or treating and they fell in a hole they couldn’t see because they didn’t have a flashlight or glow-stick and now they are terrified of the dark- that’s on you parents. I’m just saying.

Mainly, I feel like this is all just common sense and good manners, but after passing out candy last night and realizing how few of these rules were followed I felt like I needed to say something. You know, because people look to me for etiquette. They do.

I have to admit, though, there are some biases I have when passing out candy. Not everybody gets the same amount. Everyone gets at least one piece, I don’t break any kids hearts or anything, I’m not a monster. But, I will admit, I do give some kids more candy than others. It goes like this….

You say trick or treat and have a costume on- 1 or 2 pieces of candy.

You say trick or treat and are dressed up like a historical figure- 1 or 2 handfuls of candy. I can’t help myself. I gots to give props to my little history loving homies out there.

Best ever was the little girl who came dressed up as Queen Elizabeth I- that girl got like, a bucket of candy from me. I’m pretty sure I bribed inspired her to study history. You’re welcome little girls parents. Or, maybe, I’m sorry. It really depends on how practical you think studying history is.

The best costumes I saw this year were a 3-year old gnome, a 3-year old astronaut, and a 6-year old sock-hopper. Really, I have to say, the 3-4 year olds pretty much dominated this year costume-wise. You’re on notice 5-12 year olds. Step it up next year. Might I suggest Anne Boleyn (you could play it straight or zombie), or perhaps Vlad the Impaler (if you say “Dracula” it doesn’t count), or maybe even Albert Einstein (crazy hair and physics is always fun). All great costumes, all historical figures. Take my suggestions and there could be a lot of candy in your future. Also, if you say something historical that matches your costume, then I will probably give you money. True story. And I might cry a little bit from happiness.

On another note, I watched a great special on the History of Halloween. Pretty interesting stuff. None of the kids seemed that impressed though when I tried to tell them about it. Weird.

12 thoughts on “Trick or Treating Etiquette- or- Historical Costumes Get More Candy

  1. Bethany says:

    Loved your comment regarding the glowsticks..especially this year.

    My husband told me after the fact that while trick-or-treating with our kids, it seems my 4-yr. old daughter (who was a butterfly) slipped on some leaves and starting sliding down into a sewer opening on the street. Before the clown from the movie It could get her, our neighbor spied her little glowstick sliding down into the grate and picked her up off of the ground.

    Of course, my husband was NOT paying attention until she was being carried back to him.

    Thank god for glowsticks! : ) Just sayin’…..

  2. [Long story how that’s even possible but] this year was my second Trick-or-Treating ever, and since I am [waaaaaay] over 13, I gladly took on the role of a candy distributor. And I couldn’t agree more with the point you made in #3. Seriously. The kid said nothing, I had no idea what to say, so we just stared at each other. Talk about awkward.

  3. Yeah no kidding about the teenagers. It hit me last night as I took my younguns around … these total strangers go out and buy candy with their hard earned money to turn around and give them to total stranger kids.
    God I love America!
    And of course I kept pinching my 5 and 3 year old to remember to say thank you.

  4. I live in the inner city in an apartment and get no Trick or Treaters.


    I did, however, go to see Rocky Horror Picture Show and saw way too m any half-nude young adults!

  5. Our neighborhood gets waaaay into it. Check out my costume on my bloggie to see what I wore! Someone actually made themselves into an iPod. It was hilarious because it actually rained (and snowed), and the paint on her costume started to run, and the girl said, “iPods don’t like to get wet!” LOL!

    Can’t believe the kids didn’t like the info on the Halloween documentary. Weird.

  6. cooper says:

    1) it’s ok to TorT in the teenage years IF there is respect for the little kids, respect for the candy givers (as you pointed out) and you actually wear a costume. The kids that get turned away are thosen who show up in street clothes.

    2) i remember using a flashlight…and the batteries always died halfway thru (it was not the age of the energizer bunny)

    3) best costume – a two person effort, one dressed as a hot dog, the other as a beer mug……Frankenstein. Get it?

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