My mother’s 10 rules for Halloween
My mother (She Tumbles Too) is the greatest woman I know. She also wrote a piece called “10 Rules for Trick or Treating” a few years ago for the local newspaper. And every year I get older and review them, I love her a little more.
- Prime rule: no costume, no candy. Period.
- Second prime rule: If you don’t say “trick or treat” or “Happy Halloween” or something, no candy. If you simply ring my bell and stand there with an open bag, you’re not trick-or-treating, you’re rude.
- If you are wearing clothes you would willingly wear to school tomorrow, you’re not trick-or-treating.
- I should be able to recognize your costume even if I don’t watch every new cartoon on Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network. It should still be OK to be a “witch” or a “ghost” or a “hobo” instead of the latest licensed toy.
- If you’re smoking a cigarette, you’re too old for trick-or-treating. If you drove yourself to the neighborhood to go trick-or-treating, if your voice has changed, if you’re on a date, or if you have to interrupt a cell phone conversation to say “trick or treat” you’re too old.
- If you’re babysitting younger kids who are trick-or-treating, you’re not entitled to a separate haul of your own.
- If you are too young to walk, or too young to say “trick or treat” because you have a pacifier in your mouth, you’re too young to go trick-or-treating. If you are too young to know what your costume is, you’re too young. We all know it’s your momma pushing the stroller who’s going to eat that candy. That goes double if you are asleep in the stroller.
- If your bag of candy is too heavy to carry yourself, it’s time to go home. No fair transferring the haul to a cart being pulled by your parents.
- If you came to my neighborhood in a minivan full of kids from another part of town, go home. You’re greedy. Just because my neighborhood gives out more candy for a shorter walk, doesn’t mean you should make the rounds. Again, that goes double if you’ve already done another town the night before.
- You don’t get to choose which pieces of my candy you get from my basket. You get what you get. If you don’t have a few pieces you hate, you won’t be able to swindle your younger siblings out of their good candy by orchestrating complex trades later tonight when the spoils are spread out on the kitchen table.