So, Tuesday is Halloween, and our quiet urban street will no doubt be echoing to the sounds of kids seeking candy. I wanted to ask other Dopers about setting policies for handing out treats to the kids.
The first few years i lived in the US, i was in an apartment, so trick-or-treaters never really made it onto my radar. Then, a couple of years ago, we moved into a small rowhouse in an area where there are quite a few young families. The first year, as Halloween approached, i was quite excited. It’s not something we celebrate in Australia, and the idea of handing out treats to young kids dressed in funny costumes seemed too good to pass up, so we decided to participate. We got a bunch of candy, and prepared ourselves.
For the most part, things went great. When someone knocked, we would go out with a basket and tell them to help themselves. Ninety percent of the kids were great, taking one or two mini chocolate bars or a handful of smaller candies. There was a small proportion, though, of greedy little bastards who would shove their fists in and come out with as much as they could.
These little fucks pissed me off, not because of the money (bags of chocolate and candy aren’t really that expensive), but because i had bought an amount that i thought was reasonable, and that would have been reasonable if everyone had been polite. As it was, we ran out of candy before the last kids came to the door, and had to turn some away.
Another thing that sort of pissed me off was the kids (again, usually older kids, not the toddlers) who made no effort at all to dress up, and who still wanted stuff. Sorry, but if you’re too old and too cool to dress up as a skeleton or a fairy, then you’re too old and too cool to be getting my candy. I never refused anyone, but that was what i was thinking.
So, do you Dopers set any ground rules for trick-or-treaters? Is is acceptable to have a “No costume, no candy” rule? Is it reasonable to set an age limit? Do you let the kids stick their hands in, or do you dole out the treats yourself?
Last year, rather than deal with this stuff, we just turned out the porch light, closed the curtains, and didn’t answer the door. I think i want to participate again this year. Am i just being a curmudgeon if i let these greedy and/or uncostumed kids irritate me? Should i just buy more bags of candy and suck it up? Or is it OK to lay down a few conditions?