Halloween Trick or Treat Q & A | Golden Rules Gal

Category: Halloween Etiquette

Candy Costumes:  My niece Charlotte and her friends on Halloween 2015. They all dressed as their favorite “sweet treats.”

Growing up I loved Halloween.  My favorite candies were Sweet Tarts, Red Vines and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  Not much has changed except that I don’t wear costumes.  If I want candy I buy it or eat it at the movie theatre.

Because Halloween is a day of fun, below are more suggestion than etiquette rules.  Here are the most common questions I have received on this subject:

  1. If we are not home should we leave a basket of candy? It’s a nice gesture, but unless you live in a place where you will trust that kids will not take then more than a few pieces, good luck. But if you’re not home, then why not?  At the very least, leave your outside lights on to give the little ones a clear walking path so they don’t think you live an a haunted house.
  2. What type of candy should we buy? This is not the day to be cheap. Forget giving out licorice, raisin, or old candy. Gum is not a good idea as the young set may choke.  Lastly, anything with peanuts is a no-no due to allergies.  When in doubt, stick with name brand candy that all kids love.  Chances are they’ll trade it with their friends for their favorites.  A “think out of the box” gift would be to give out small bottles of sealed water to lower their blood sugar levels.
  3. Should we wear costumes to give out candy? It’s a cute idea, but this about the kids not you. There are so many clever costumes so why compete?  The intent is not to scare the kids but to be welcoming when you open your door.  Also, make sure to give each child thumbs up for their creativity, especially for the homemade costumes.
  4. What happens if my child is given unwrapped candy? Safety first. Advise your child ahead of time not to eat anything that is not commercially wrapped.  It’s best to inspect their candy when they arrive home just in case it’s been tampered with.  Sadly our world is not as friendly as it used to be.  It’s rare, but be on the lookout for anything that doesn’t look right to alleviate your anxiety.
  5. Even though this is a fun day/ night, should I use this as an opportunity to teach my kids manners? Always encourage polite behavior for your little devil or witch. When candy is given out, remind them not to say I don’t like that kind of candy.  Encourage them to say “Trick or Treat’, Thank you, and never go back to that house more than once.  It gets dark early this time of year, so don’t be surprised if families turn their lights out by 9pm. 
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