An acquaintance of mine, a loyal reader of the DSN (I hope), makes a good point about Halloween etiquette. Rhonda pointed out recently that there are some here in Sunnyside who do not believe in or enjoy this particular holiday. She notes it can be severely annoying to have to turn off all the lights inside the house, only to hear the doorbell ring incessantly all night long.
"Turing out the indoor lights, to make it appear that nobody is home, just doesn't work any longer," Rhonda says.
Hence, Halloween etiquette.
Rhonda suggests (and rightly so) that the basic trick-or-treating rule should be...if the porch light is off, then move on to the next home. I agree with her. It's an easy rule to follow, one that allows trick-or-treaters to collect their candy from those wanting to participate in Halloween, yet doesn't inconvenience those who do not want to take part in the fun.
So, all you little ghouls out there, please do not bother ringing the doorbell of a house if the porch light is off.
For those families who do elect to trick-or-treat this Halloween, there are a few other rules you should follow, too. The tips are provided by the Teachers' Insurance Plan:
• Trick-or-treaters should always be accompanied by an adult or travel in a group. (There are real boogie men out there on our streets.)
• Children should be told not to eat any unwrapped candy or treats until their parents can check out the goodies. (Remember the razor blade scare from a few years back?)
• Parents should incorporate reflective tape in costumes or add bright colors to increase visibility to aid motorists. Also, make-up, rather than masks, should be worn to help ensure that children have an unobstructed view of their surroundings, as well as the flow of traffic.
• Children should stay on the sidewalk, or if one isn't available, walk facing the lane of traffic. Trick-or-treaters are also advised to carry a flashlight so motorists can easily see them.