It’s time for scary costumes, carving pumpkins, candy and trick or treating.  As Halloween approaches, there are somethings parents and children need to remember.

Sharon Schweitzer, an international etiquette expert, author, and founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide, offers these 10 Halloween tips and tricks:

  • Select Appropriate Costumes: Costumes that represent a culture, race, ethnic or religious group or someone with a serious illness, poverty or other hardship, are inappropriate.  Sexually explicit costumes and those mocking LGBT or gender identity encourage negativity. During this election year, our public political figures are certainly on the table; expect to see Clinton and Trump.
  • Age Appropriateness: While many adults enjoy Halloween dress up, remember this is mostly a children’s holiday.  What your teenager might wear, is not a good fit for a first grade Halloween party.  Gage the costume based on your child’s age, and the age of his or her peers. Even if you think your young child might be able to handle dressing up as Freddy Krueger, it might be too much for his or her friends.
  • Candy Alternatives: Traditional chocolate or sugar-laced candy are always a hit. With more health conscious parents, consider sealed mini bottled water, pre-packaged popcorn, coloring books, pre-packaged healthy snacks, small inexpensive toys, or pens/pencils.
  • Don’t Ring Doorbell or Knock: By simply turning off the outside lights, you will alert trick or treaters to skip your house and go on to the next.  As an option, consider leaving a bowl of candy by the front door.  Putting the car in the garage may also remove the question of whether someone is home.
  • Knock One Time and One Time Only: If no one answers, move on to the next house.  There’s no need to be excessive and knock 10 times. The homeowner might be on an important call or trying to help a baby to sleep. On a related note: know when it’s appropriate to knock. Trick or treating generally starts just before sunset and ends by 9:00 PM.

Tomorrow we will publish five more Halloween etiquette tips & tricks.



  1. I used to watch my mama go buy different kinds of bags of candy and she always made sure it was sealed unlike the days of when I was driven around the houses in the township and went trick- a- treating and got handmade popcorn balls, apples, and all kinds of homemade treats, that were unsealed. Anyway, my mama would go somewhere like Big Lots and buy packs of Halloween party bags and would fill each one up with several different kinds of candy bars, and would always make sure they were sealed candies. Anyway, she would love to answer the doorbell and give them out to the kids and would carry on about their costumes. One Halloween she answered the door, and dropped the decorative little bag in one kid’s bag, then the others, and this little kid picked it up and asked what is that? My mama said, “It is candy”……..and this one little kid said, ” Is it poison?” My mama said, “No, it is not poison, you don’t think I would give you poison do you?” And the little kid said, ummm…..I don’t know. My mama reassured her, and off she went. I laughed and laughed and my mama said, “Can you believe that, that she thought I would give her poison?” I said, ” That is the way it is now days, don’t worry about it, mama”………..LOL.

  2. I mean if it has gotten to the point of having to take the bags of Halloween candy bounty up to the police department to X-ray them, I think it is time to just take the kids somewhere else other than to people’s homes trick-o-treating, if things have gotten that sorry- of- a- state in this world, really.


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