Column: Trick-or-Treat 101
Commentary by Beverly Randolph
For those who celebrate Halloween, excitement “brews.” Manners still apply to adults and little goblins alike, however. This is a great occasion to teach children, especially about interacting with strangers. With these tips, everyone will have a safe and ghoulishly good time.
- Do RSVP and extend gratitude for the invitation.
- Do greet the hostess and bring a gift such as mulling spices, a fall decoration or scented candle. For children-oriented parties, bring non-sugar treats to keep Captain Americans energized and entertained.
- Employers may encourage employees to dress-up. Be mindful that you are still representing yourself and reputation as well as your company. In order to not offend others, carefully choose your costume (nothing political, religious or too sexy in nature).
- Remind your princesses to offer a kind, loud and clear “Trick or Treat” and “Thank you.” Use this time to interact with neighbors, exchange pleasantries, converse about costumes, and offer your appreciation.
- To ensure safety, add reflectors to costumes, give each devil a flashlight, and periodically check costumes to avoid tripping on a loose hem, etc. Remind children to respect property, watch cars and stay close. Likewise, homeowners should access and take care of potential hazards.
- Approach lit homes up until 8pm’ish. Provide one piece of individually wrapped and sealed candy. Save handmade goodies for those children you know well and place a “from” and address label.
- If your little Frozen Elsa has food allergies, instruct her to politely tell your neighbor. She will appreciate gift certificates, glow sticks, pencils or stickers. Teal pumpkins indicate non-food.
- It is best to not walk around the neighborhood with your cocktail in hand.
Do you have any other Halloween etiquette tips not mentioned above? Share them and any other etiquette questions you have.
Beverly Randolph, MA, is the Founder & Director of The Protocol School of Indianapolis and a certified Business Etiquette, Children’s Etiquette and International Protocol Consultant. Beverly lives in Carmel and is an Adjunct Instructor at Marian University teaching business-related courses. Have any etiquette dilemmas? For more information, email Beverly at firstname.lastname@example.org.