I don't think I ask for too much. Really, I don't. But here's the thing -- I go out and spend $50+ on yummy treats to hand out to a lot of complete strangers. I don't want to do that for nothing. So, here are some of my Halloween Etiquette tips that I would really appreciate if you took into consideration the next time you come to my house expecting to get candy.
First of all -- please dress up. And I mean actually dress up as something. Don't come to my door wearing simply a ski jacket and toque and claim you are a snowboarder. If you're going to do that, at least carry around a snowboard. Or don't come in regular street clothes and say you are a pop/rock star. At least wear funky clothes and have some wild colored wig on or something. Or -- and this was the most pathetic one of all -- don't come in regular clothes and say you are dressed up as a trick-or-treater (and then wonder out loud why you got less than your friend who at least went to the -- albeit minimal -- effort to paint on freckles, throw on a bandana and call herself a farmer). You may think it's clever...but I don't.
Secondly -- if you hold out an extra bag in my face and say it's for the baby that's waiting in the stroller at the bottom of the steps...well, don't. I'm all for giving candy away to a baby (even if I know he/she won't even be the one consuming it). But that baby needs to at least be in a costume and needs to at least be brought to my front door so I can see said baby in said costume.
Thirdly -- I don't care how much noise you make clambering up my porch stairs. Yes, I know you're there. I can hear you. But I ain't opening the door until either I hear "Trick or Treat!" or until the doorbell rings or there is a knock at the door. And if it's just a doorbell or a knock, I still expect to hear "Trick or Treat!" when I open it.
Fourthly -- and closely tied in to #3 -- don't come as a large group and have only one of you call out the "Trick or Treat" slogan. That's right...you've EACH got to say it. Oh, and if I ask you to say it (especially asking nicely, even with a bit of fun teasing), don't turn around and sulkily walk down the steps. I ain't chasing after you begging you to let me give you the candy that I spent money on to a poor sport. I shouldn't have to even ask you to say it -- it should be the natural words that automatically come out of your mouth on a night such as this.
Fifthly -- again, closely tied into the manners I mentioned in #3 and #4...when I give you these sought-after goodies, please remember to say thank-you.
And finally -- when my curtains are drawn and all of my lights are off, don't continue to ring my doorbell. It's really that simple.
I realize this all may make it sound like I am a Grumpy Gus on Halloween, but that's really not the case. I enjoy seeing the fun costumes and watching especially the little tikes walking up and down the driveways with excitement on their faces. I don't care how old you are -- 2 weeks old, or 100 years old -- I will happily give you candy. I don't think you are ever too old to go trick-or-treating. All I ask is that you follow some simple Halloween etiquette and put some effort into it if you expect to get free candy thrown your way.
And next year...perhaps I'll adopt a method I heard of last week, and hand out ketchup packets to those who do not follow my Halloween Trick-or-Treating etiquette. Disguised within a little baggie of course, so you won't know what's it in until you get home and will have no idea which house it came from...you know, to prevent my house from getting egged.