What Is Proper Trick-or-Treat Etiquette Slideshow

Keep the Lights On

If you're going to be handing out candy, do everything you can to be home from dusk until about 9 p.m. on Halloween evening. Leaving a bucket of candy and expecting kids to take one is unrealistic, and you'll probably end up with the first few groups taking the lion-share of the loot.

Stick with the Classics

Its not your job to use this holiday to promote your own philosophy on nutrition, or take a stand on childhood obesity. Handing out pencils or crayons? Theyre likely to go straight from the trick-or-treat pail into the garbage pail, with no stops in between. Hand out the confections you remembered loving as a kid, or homemade candied apples, or caramel corn.

Don’t Invite Trick-or-Treaters In

Or go in, when invited. One TDM editor remembers being invited in for apple cider floats when trick-or-treating as a child. It’s a sweet offer, but unless you know the person who is inviting you in, how do you know something bad won’t happen?

Get Enough

Imagine the disappointment for a kid who comes to your door just as you handed out the last Kit Kat to the one just before him and your embarrassment at not having any more. The rule here is that it is better to have leftovers than not enough. In a new neighborhood and not sure how many trick-or-treaters to expect? Poll your neighbors, and if by 9 p.m. you still have lots left over, start giving out more than one piece, donate it to a local charity collecting extra candy, or bring it to the office.

Don't Play Favorites

It's a nice gesture to compliment each kid on his or her creative costume, but don't play favorites when doling out the treats. It can be obvious, especially when multiple groups show up at the same time, that you're giving the cute neighborhood kids the good stuff, and saving the Dum-Dums for the noisy teens wearing the unimaginative ghost costume white sheets with holes cut out for eyes.

Don't Leave a Mess

Be mindful of where you are walking when moving across someone else's property. This is not the time to start sorting out your bags of loot, littering pieces of sugar-free gum and wrappers in your wake.

Steer Clear So Everyone Can Get a Treat

It can get pretty hectic on the porch during peak trick-or-treat hours. Once you take your share, move out of the way for the next person and don't trip the person behind you, even if they're annoying.

Be Gracious

Your neighbors have been kind enough to spend the evening welcoming you onto their property and handing out free candy. Even if you receive something that you'll surely want to trade away to your little brother, be sure to say thank you at each house.

Have Fun!

Don't lose sight of the main point of the holiday. It's supposed to be festive and fun for everyone. There's no use in dressing up like a superhero or princess if you make your way around town, complaining about the candy you got.