Get What You Give This Halloween



Haunted House Come Right In photo by Bee Felten

Trick or treaters everywhere will march through the streets tonight looking for something sweet to munch on. Never underestimate the power of a sugar-addicted child — if your home doesn’t hand out the goods, expect for it to haunt you later.

Kidding aside, Halloween is a great time to get to know the people who live around you and to start building personal relationships worth having. You’re likely to see a number of neighbors — new and old — and their families. It’s best to be prepared to welcome them to your doorstep in a spirited fashion. If you’re new to a neighborhood or are struggling to figure out why your home isn’t a popular stop on All Hallows’ Eve, heed our dos and don’ts of trick or treating listed below.

Don’t: Give Out Pennies, Toothpaste And Toothbrushes, Fruits, Or Vegetables

We’ve all likely been on the receiving end of this grand idea. Halloween is all about one thing: fun. Candy is fun. Pennies are for couch cushions, brushing your teeth is work, fruit isn’t the type of sugar kids crave, and vegetables are for grownups. Giving children something out of place doesn’t just draw the ire of trick or treaters — it also gives off the impression that you don’t like to have fun.

Skeleton toys photo by Remy Loz

Do: Give Out Toys

If you’ve got something against candy — or maybe you’re a dentist like Willy Wonka’s dad — then you shouldn’t worry. There is a clear, scientifically verified alternative to handing out candy on Halloween: toys.

In 2003, Yale researchers gave nearly 300 trick or treaters between the ages of 3 and 14 the option of choosing between comparably sized candies or toys. Dentists everywhere rejoiced when they found that children were just as likely to choose a toy as a piece of candy — satisfying their imaginations instead of their sweet tooth.

Don’t: Be Shorthanded

Ninety-three percent of American children go trick or treating every year. They are a force to be reckoned with. And no one wants to turn away an adorable cat or zombie for lack of preparation.

If you don’t want to worry about disappointing anyone with the sight of an empty candy bowl, then the first thing for you to do is to make sure you’re stocked up for the night. Always air on the side of caution when finding out how much candy you need to buy for the kids in your neighborhood. We suggest taking the number of kids you expect and doubling it. After all, if you wind up passing out the extras you will be the hero of the neighborhood. And if not, a few candy leftovers never hurt anyone.

Do: Leave A Light On

All too often, Halloween is a night that requires families to divide and conquer in order to get things done. One gets the job of supervising the children as they traverse the neighborhood and the other has handout responsibilities — answering the door before the family pet goes insane at the arrival of strangers in costumes every five minutes. But what if no one wants to miss out on the neighborhood fun or there is simply no way the door can be answered in your home at peak trick or treating times? There’s an easy fix for letting your house be the Halloween destination you want it to be when you can’t be there. Leave the light on.

Porch lights are beacons for neighborhood children telling them you have treats to share. Even if you can’t be there to hear the shouted “Trick or Treat!” rest assured the neighborhood children will appreciate the giant bowl of candy with the instructions to take their pick you’ve left at the front door. Sure, there are kids that may take advantage of the situation. But mostly you’ll thrill both the kids and their guardians alike by providing an easy stop on the long night’s journey.

Eat drink and be scary photo by Bee Felten

Don’t: Make It All About The Kids

It’s not uncommon to see parents struggling to match their kids’ enthusiasm for running door-to-door and asking for candy. If you’re looking to make a good impression on your neighbors this Halloween, offer some treats to the parents to help give them the boost they need to make it through the night. Drinks are always a good place to start. Food that they can take on the go that isn’t packed with sugar is a good idea as well. Whatever it is — just keep in mind that parents like to have fun, too.

Bat cat photo by Nika Benedictova

Always: Have A Good Costume

Just because you’re the one handing out candy doesn’t mean you don’t get to have a little fun. Wear a costume and get into the spirit!

What traditions do you enjoy on Halloween? Let us know on our Facebook page. And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more treats!

— Courtesy of The One Thing Blog archives



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