Ask Mrs. Fields: Halloween Etiquette

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Dear Mrs. Fields,

What’s the best way to handle trick-or-treaters coming to your house on Halloween if you’re not going to be home?

Thanks for your input,
Janet L. 

Janet, this is a great question. Having lived in a few neighborhoods, I’ve seen this very issue handled a few smart ways. Maybe one will sound right to you.

The Unattended Bowl of Candy – One clever neighbor of mine used to set out a bench on the doorstep with a scarecrow holding a big bowl of candy. An accompanying sign said, “Happy Halloween! Help yourself to a treat, but only one!” This method relies on the honor system, but it seemed to work well.

Hire a House-Sitter – Another neighbor invited a house-sitter to answer the door and hand out candy to trick-or-treaters. She provided a pizza and a semi-scary movie to keep the sitter company.

Send Your Candy Next Door – Last year, a neighbor was going to be gone and sent her candy to my house to hand out. Trick-or-treaters were surprised with a double dose of candy!

Hand Out Candy Wherever You Are – If greeting trick-or-treaters is important to you, take your candy with you. If you’re headed to a Halloween party, take your stash with you and donate it to the host’s candy bowl. Then offer to take a turn answering the door.

Leave the House Dark – The simplest answer to your question is to lock up the house and turn out the lights. Most trick-or-treaters understand that a dark house means nobody’s home.

Readers, do you have anything to add? Leave your thoughts in the comments section!

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