Halloween tips and advise for fun and safety are always worth repeating. If you read this newsletter on a regular basis, you know it’s a horror column where we write about all thing horror, about Halloween, and we love compiling Top 10 lists. Traditionally, we write about the horrific elements of Halloween. In this article, however, we are presenting our top 10 list of how to maximize your Halloween experience and keep your family safe at the same time.
Trick-or-Treating is a must, but heed these ten obvious and not-so-obvious suggestions:
1. Don’t let the little ones go Trick-or-Treating alone. Accompany them but hang back. Besides, you know you want an excuse to throw on a mask or cape or some make-up. Enjoy the experience vicariously through the kids!
2. There’s nothing wrong with going out after dark, but stick to well-lit streets with sidewalks.
3. When walking at night, or if costumes are dark, attach cheap flashlights or glow-sticks to the lil’ ones.
4. Visit the most foot-trafficked streets. Kids love seeing other kids dressed up, and busier neighborhoods mean the homes are more hospitable to dispensing candy and goodies. Best bets are homes with decorations, pumpkins on display and houses with other families in front of you getting goodies.
5. Try to visit middle-class neighborhoods. Poorer neighborhoods may not be able to give as much as they’d like to, and wealthier neighborhoods may not want to be bothered. Sad but true. But a bigger reason to avoid opulent areas is the homes are too spread out. Ideally, homes should be as close together to get to the most homes as possible before tiring out.
6. The kids won’t tire out – but you will! They’re dressed up, moving on adrenaline, and could go trick-or-treating all night! Establish a deadline before going out, which could be a set time, amount of booty collected or number of homes visited.
7. Some cheap masks impair or limit vision. Consider better quality masks or make-up instead. If using make-up, use higher quality professional products. They’re usually easier to wash or scrub off, and there’s rarely allergic reactions. If buying cheaper make-up, sample some on skin to make sure there are no reactions.
8. Buy a better quality costume. Your child won’t just wear it on Halloween, they’ll parade around it at home, might wear it to school if allowed, and will model it again days after Halloween. A cheap costume may only withstand a one-time wear. But don’t expect it to last until next year — even if it still fits, it’s not likely a kid will wear the same get-up two years in a row!
9. De-emphasize the candy stash. Explain that it’s not important who gets the most, or the quality of the candies collected, but focus on how much fun the Trick-or-Treat experience is. Insist that your son or daughter say “thank you” to everyone who hands them something, and (you know this already) make sure you check everything before they eat or touch anything. Also, consider donating the candy to a family or organization.
10. Don’t let em go INSIDE any house.
With these ten tips in mind, enjoy the greatest and most rewarding Halloween Trick-or-Treat experience ever!
Some additional information you may not have already known about Trick or Treating: Nobody can verify where and when the phrase “trick or treat” was coined.
The custom had been firmly established in American popular culture by 1951, when trick-or-treating was depicted in the Peanuts comic strip.
In 1952, Disney produced a cartoon called “Trick or Treat” featuring Duck and his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie.
According to History.com: “During someCeltic celebrations of Samhain, villagers disguised themselves in costumes made of animal skins to drive away phantom visitors; banquet tables were prepared and edible offerings were left out to placate unwelcome spirits. In later centuries, people began dressing as ghosts, demons and other malevolent creatures, performing antics in exchange for food and drink. This custom, known as mumming, dates back to the Middle Ages and is thought to be an antecedent of trick-or-treating.”
In Scotland and Ireland, young people took part in a tradition called ‘guising,’ dressing up in costume and accepting offerings from various households. Rather than pledging to pray for the dead, they would sing a song, recite a poem, tell a joke or perform another sort of “trick” before collecting their treat, which typically consisted of fruit, nuts or coins.