Growing up I loved going around on Halloween and trick or treating. What can I say, it's an excuse to dress up and eat candy...Most of the houses in our neighborhood either had kids our age who celebrated Halloween or they had retirees who seemed to love seeing all the kids dressed up. As far as I could tell Halloween was fun for everyone. The first clue I had that this wasn't the case was the year that (after much deliberation) we knocked on a door that didn't have any decorations, but did have the porch light on. It turned out that the occupants didn't celebrate Halloween, but had left the light on because they were expecting company for their prayer meeting (I think they were Jehovah's Witnesses, but I could be wrong). We never knocked if the light wasn't on as my mom told us that if it was off they probably didn't have candy or didn't want trick or treaters. This was something that was understood amongst not just our family, but everyone I knew. Therefore, I have to wonder what has changed. Tonight we didn't have decorations, but I dutifully bought candy based on the number of kids we had last year (less than a dozen, but every one polite and well behaved). I bought extra just in case, but I didn't want to buy too much because I didn't want to be stuck with a bunch of candy tomorrow. We turned on our light about the time it started getting dark and within a few minutes the door bell rang. That's when I realized that this year was going to be different. There were 7 kids, none of them said "thank you". A minute later the door bell rang again, this time is was a couple of moms with young children. I was rather annoyed to see that one of them was carrying a child that was obviously under a year old, but politely put a piece of candy in the pro offered bag...then the mom turned and offered HER bag! As soon as they were gone I frantically restocked the now empty bowl before the bell rang again only to find some kids that I am pretty sure were in the first bunch. At that point I was done, I turned off our light because our candy supplies were dwindling and I'd only heard ONE kid actually stop to say thanks. I didn't even make it back to the kitchen when the bell rang again...and again...and again...We are almost out of candy and I'm not playing anymore. Those rude and greedy kids, and more importantly their parents, have ruined it for the rest. All I can figure is that they don't know the rules or that the rules have somehow changed. Either way here are the rules I grew up with, please tell me if I'm off...
1. If the house isn't decorated they may not be participating. It might be worth a try, but don't get your hopes up too high.
2. If the porch light is OFF and it is after dark then move on. Either the people aren't home or they don't want to be bothered. If they aren't home you are wasting your time and if they are home you are being rude and intrusive.
3. If the child is too young to walk up to the door and say "trick or treat" they are too young to be asking for candy (or eating it for that matter). If you don't have child care or you want them to participate then they can stay on the sidewalk or back behind with the parents, but they don't need a bag.
4. Parents and kids in high school, YOU DO NOT GET A BAG! Buy your own candy, don't go begging from others. You are taking away the fun from younger kids because you are being greedy. If you want to dress up that's fine, but leave the bags at home.
5. Only go to each house ONCE! Don't be greedy.
ETA: 6. Say "thank you" after you receive your candy and if people aren't answering don't ring the bell two or three times.
Maybe I sound like a curmudgeon, but after 15 minutes of kids we decided to turn off our light and hide in the back of the house. Please consider these and remember that this is supposed to be a fun holiday for everyone.