Be safe trick or treating, and have fun

When I was a kid, I thought telling someone “happy Halloween” was redundant. Of course, it’s happy — it’s Halloween. There were costumes and candy, trick or treating, going to Grandma’s house for soup, then some more trick or treating, not to mention Dad’s pranks on trick or treaters who came to our house. When I was a bit older, I would help with Dad’s pranks.

I support having downtown Halloween events for children. They provide a safe and sound way for kids to show off their costumes and get candy. I am not, however, ready to see an end to honest-to-goodness, door-to-door trick or treating. It’s just so much more fun that way. There need to be rules, though. Here are a few suggested rules for trick or treating:

First, kids trick or treating door-to-door should be accompanied by a parent or other responsible adult. It’s so much safer that way. And if you’re embarrassed to be seen with your parents while you’re asking for candy dressed up as Thor or Captain America, maybe you’re too old to go trick or treating. The adult doesn’t necessarily need to go up to the door, though. The end of the sidewalk is good enough.

Second, you have to be in costume. No costume, no candy. A costume doesn’t need to be something bought at a store. Most of my Halloween costumes were homemade, with only a prop or two from the store. Consider putting reflective tape on your costume, especially if it’s dark, so drivers can see you easier. Accompanying adults don’t have to be in costume, but it doesn’t hurt.

Third, be very careful of traffic. Always look both ways before crossing the street, and never linger in the street. Fourth, only go to houses with a porch light on. That’s how people tell you that they’re expecting visitors, like trick or treaters.

Fifth, be friendly. It starts by saying “trick or treat” when someone opens the door. If you don’t say it, I’m not giving you candy, because you aren’t trick or treating. And be ready to explain what your costume is, multiple times.

Most of all, have fun.

— ADAM STEWART

 

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