My shopping list today included: fake fur, teeth, black tights, a tail, and face paint. My finger is a bit sore from a hot glue gun burn and there’s toilet paper hanging from my neighbor’s tree. Feels like Halloween!
Since having kids, Halloween has become one of my favorite holidays. It’s fun and imagination and creativity. It’s Darth Vader being chased by two fairy princesses. It’s my normally reserved husband coming home with a gorilla suit. Halloween is childhood and childhood revisited.
The etiquette scene right now (yes there’s a scene!) is putting out tips for a polite Halloween. I think that’s wonderful as long as we don’t strip the irreverent out of the holiday. It’s a good idea to go over simple manners, especially if neighbors turn off their lights when your kid reaches their driveway, but don’t forget that this is a holiday where we, as parents, can lighten up a bit.
The etiquette of Halloween should be this simple: Remind your kids to say thank you each time they’re given candy. If a nice neighbor tells you to take what you want, don’t grab a huge handful. Did the dentist give out toothbrushes again? Smile and thank him too. Adults, if you’re wearing a costume to the school Halloween party, it shouldn’t look like you just got off work at a place where poles are the main decor. Finally, respect the universal, no-candy-here sign; if the lights are off, skip the house.
Now I come to the controversial part of my blog. (I’m a boat shaker, can’t help it.) How old is too old for trick or treating? The popular answer is high school. I have a different answer. If you come to my house IN A COSTUME and happen to be a teenager, I’ll give you candy. Childhood is too short and there are many worse things a 16-year-old could do than put on a costume and collect candy.
Happy Halloween! May your bags be filled with chocolate.
(Note to neighbors: Should a 6’3 gorilla happen to visit your home on Sunday, please send my husband home. You have to draw a line somewhere.)
Melenie Broyles’ radio show, How Not 2 Act, discussed Halloween etiquette this week. She also shared awesome kids’ Halloween jokes. Here’s a sample: Why did Dracula’s mother give him cough syrup? Because he was having a coffin fit. (A big hit with the 6-8 crowd!)