Don’t Be a Ghoul at Halloween and Forget Your Manners!


By Shelly Robertson Birdsong and

I can recall all too vividly as a child and young adult, gearing up for that oddest and most fun of holidays – Halloween. Despite some negativity and naysayers about its questionable background and meaning – I have come to believe, it truly is a rite of autumn and a fun and festive chance to dress up and be a little silly, even if only for an evening. And can’t we all use more of that? The trick-or-treat aspect however, can be a challenge in numerous ways, especially if you are in a high traffic neighborhood or are in charge of leading around your bevy of kiddos while they are after one thing and one thing only – CANDY!!!

Halloween is a fun holiday for children, but it’s easy to get forget basic manners when there is so much sugar fueling the excitement. Here are manners to remember before you go trick-or-treating:

Remind your little goblin not to be greedy; one piece of candy from each house is the general rule. And saying “thank you” is a must.

In terms of costumes, ghoulish makeup and army fatigues are acceptable. Guns and bustiers are better left at home. Speaking of guns – any form of threatening with your “fake” weaponry is a major no. Sadly, even more so in today’s violent society. But remember, parents won’t think it’s cute if you frighten their little ones – and to the older “kids,” adults also don’t appreciate the humor of you aiming your gun at them pretending to fire when you find out they have no more candy left. Yes, sadly, a true story.

If you don’t like Halloween, you don’t have to participate. Either go out for the night or turn off your front lights. Parents will get the message, but some older kids might, too, so be prepared for possible “tricks.”

If your area isn’t kid-friendly, it’s fine to pack up your brood and head to Grandma’s neighborhood or to your best friend’s block.

Dumping off a carload of kids in an area where you don’t know anyone or haven’t been invited is definitely impolite – and possibly dangerous.

Masked teenagers at the door might seem ridiculous or even intimidating, but try to take it in stride and hand out some treats anyway. After all, Halloween is an occasion for teens to enjoy just as younger kids do. For many teens, it’s one of the last vestiges of childhood that they can still enjoy.

Yes, it is fine to turn off the lights when you are ready to do so or (eekk) run out of candy early!

So, remember enjoy this spooky and fun filled night but don’t forget your manners and get “booed.”

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