Teenagers Without Costumes – Don’t Bother Coming To My House

shutterstock_139627181__1381935160_142.196.156.251“Teenager” is not a costume. Either is “Mom Holding Infant.”

Am I the only one who gets totally annoyed by kids who look like they’re about to start college coming to my door – and without costumes? And what about parents trick-or-treating with their infants? That is the worst. What are you doing? Your kid is too young to eat this stuff and you are an adult who can go to the store and buy candy whenever you want.

I don’t have any problem with teenagers who embrace the holiday coming to my door. You don’t have to have a fancy costume. You can have your face painted – whatever. But don’t just grab a bag and walk around the neighborhood when you’re seventeen years old. Parents – don’t let your teenagers do this.

I actually had a kid like this yell at me for running out of Halloween candy a couple of years ago. We were sitting on my brownstone stoop in Brooklyn. There were a ton of kids in my neighborhood – we always ran out of candy pretty fast. The new habit kids seem to have of reaching into the candy bowl and grabbing as much as they can fit into their little palms doesn’t help much, either. Back to the teenager though. He walked up to the stoop with a group of his friends. None of them had ANYTHING that indicated they were celebrating the holiday on. Not even an orange shirt. Nothing. This particular group didn’t even have bags with them. They were just walking up to houses, sticking candy in their pockets, and eating it as they went along.

Trick or Treat!

We’re out of candy.

No you’re not. I see a little in your bowl.

Yeah, well – I want to save it for children. Little children. Who dress up.

That’s greedy. Fuck you, lady.

Seriously. If you are old enough to tell me to fuck off, you can’t have my Halloween candy.

That’s pretty terrible, but I think parents who come to my door with dressed-up infants annoy me even more. You are basically an adult asking another adult to give you candy. I love candy just as much as the next person – but that is just weird.

I dressed up my child before he was old enough to realize it was Halloween. We took him to a little block party. My 4-month-old is going to be a giraffe this year. I will not be taking either of them trick-or-treating. I think my general rule is going to be, when they are old enough to say “trick-or-treat,” hold their own bag, and not be carried around because they are too tired to walk – they can go trick-or-treating. Until then, we’ll be giving out candy to all of the people of the neighborhood – except bratty teenagers and parents with no shame.

(photo: chevanon/ Shutterstock)

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  • NicknamesAreDull

    I have tins of sardines that I made wrappers for. Parents with infants, teenagers and people who come too late (9 or later) get those.

    • Felix

      My husband would love that.

    • Zoe Lansing

      That’s hysterical!

    • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

      Heh heh. You’re giving tricks instead of treats.

    • Byron

      Where do you live? I hate 95% of candy as it tastes too sweet to me (over-taster here) but I love sardines on crusty bread with some onions and parsley. I’d love to trick or treat for you lol.

    • NicknamesAreDull

      I live in California! Come by around 7!

    • Allie

      Be sure to remove the egg from your windows while it’s still wet. Use warm water, not hot, and a good high-alkaline detergent. The toilet paper should biodegrade on its own fairly quickly.

    • NicknamesAreDull

      We live on a military base. That hasn’t happened, ever.

  • EX

    Two things:
    1. I totally scared a teen who came trick or treating without a costume. I’m not sure what I said but the lecture I gave them (while still giving them candy – I didn’t want my house TP’ed or egged or whatever kids do for a “trick” these days) seemed to be effective. The one boy came back a second time with a different group of friends but before I could say anything he threw his arms up and said “I don’t want any candy. I’m just here with them.” I think I got my point across.
    2. I once had a couple (adults, mind you) show up to trick or treat with their DOG in costume. They said the candy was their payment for taking him trick or treating.

    • Rachel Sea

      I’d have closed the door in the dog people’s face. No one gets paid to take anyone trick-or-treating. I don’t mind giving candy to soberish adults in costume, who are in the spirit, and not ruining it for any kids, but if you are an adult who has to manufacture an excuse for why you deserve candy, you don’t deserve candy.

    • Yummy

      Oh gosh, I didn’t even think of this! I am NOT giving you candy for taking your DOG tirck or treating,

  • librarygirl92

    Hey, c’mon, don’t be too hard on parents with infants. We took our daughter out before she could eat candy but we were just enthusiastic (maybe overly so) and couldn’t wait to start sharing childhood rituals with her. I honestly think I would have cried if a neighbour had given us sardines. We didn’t think for a minute that we were doing anything wrong.

    • Ally

      Think again. Seriously.

    • librarygirl92

      Seriously. My kids are teens now and I get it. We were terrible, terrible people. But it didn’t cross my mind at the time. I can’t remember if we were given candy or if we took it but I can tell you right now I would have remembered someone ‘punishing’ us. I have made some mistakes over the last 16 years or so but never dreamed this was one of them. Thanks, internet!

    • TwentiSomething Mom

      Yea, I took my son out when he was one but it wasn’t because I couldn’t wait to get free candy, it was because I couldn’t wait and participate in a fun holiday with my son. I did feel a little weird about it after so this year we will go to a free or low cost event at a local zoo or park for kids so he can still have fun in costume.

    • Felix

      We took my daughter out last year at ten months. We ate some of the candy, and she did get some (usually at the horrible rate of a tootsie roll a day) this year we are taking her and new brother out, he will be wearing a costume. i probably won’t because i’m having problems finding one that’s bfing friendly.

    • NicknamesAreDull

      My reasoning is that I buy a certain amount of candy. If I give it to the people who are old enough to buy it themselves, I would feel awful if a kid (who is the age for trick or treating) didn’t get any because I ran out. I don’t think you should get candy meant for children because you’re overly enthusiastic.

    • librarygirl92

      But I was giving out candy too. Wouldn’t it be a wash? (:

    • NicknamesAreDull

      My problem is that the child, who is the focus of Halloween, isn’t getting anything- the parents are.

      I am friends with many of my neighbors. Most of them have a new baby they want to parade around and I think that’s totally cool. If they come before most of the trick-or-treaters, I have a little basket of stuff for babies and I will give the baby a little trinket. The baby gets the spirit of Halloween, the parents get to show off the baby and everyone is happy.

      When parents who I (usually) don’t know come to my door, they want the candy for them. That bothers me. I work fairly hard to make sure all the trick or treaters get candy, and I pay attention to dietary needs of my neighbor’s kids, so I make little baggies of candy. Every bag has the same amount of candy, some bags are peanut free etc.

      Parents had their chance to enjoy Halloween and the excitement of getting a ton of free candy.

    • librarygirl92

      I swear to you – the candy didn’t even cross my mind. It was the fun of dressing her up in costume and going to 5 or 6 houses to say trick or treat.

    • citygirl

      I think going to a few neighbor’s houses that you already know is fine. I live in a large apartment building and mainly had parents with infants (that didn’t even live in the building) stop by last year! I’m not handing any candy out this year as a result. I have a limited budget and will certainly not spend it on candy that’s going to adults that could just as easily buy their own.

    • http://ichasekids.com/ Litterboxjen

      My husband’s been super-eager to be the one who takes our daughter door-to-door. Last year, when she was just over 1, he took her to the houses on our street (which is relatively short). There were people who tried to give her more candy because she was little, and he deterred them; he just wanted to give her the experience, and she got right into it, waving at people and holding out her little bag. (He brought the kind of plastic bag you can fit a CD into, just a tiny one).

      Personally, I love seeing the little ones come door-to-door, and sometimes it’s even more fun when they don’t know why they’re doing this whole ritual, they just are. They’re adorable, their costumes are awesome, and it warms my black little heart.

      This year he was talking about doing matching costumes. I ended up getting her a puppy costume, and I told him he could go as a fire hydrant. Not sure if that’ll work out or not.

  • Anon

    I just want to dress our 10 month old up. Maybe I’ll take baked goods to the neighbors earlier in the day so they can see his costume. Because I’m totally that parent who thinks their baby is the cutest thing ever (is there a parent out there who doesn’t feel that way about their baby?). And I don’t need to eat any more sweets than I already do.

    But, I’d totally give candy to either teens or parents, I’m giving the candy away anyways. And it’s Halloween.

    • librarygirl92

      Thanks, Anon. I was beginning to think I was losing my mind. I give candy to parents, teens, kids, parents of the kids, heck, I would have loved to have somebody stop by with a dog! That’s genius. A fun-size Snickers would have been a small price to pay for the story, “You’ll never believe this! A couple came by with a dog! In costume!”

  • kay

    I’m throwing a halloween party for my mom’s group entirely so I have an excuse to dress my baby up. Cause I know you can’t take a 4 month old trick or treating, but babies in costumes are ADORABLE.

    • Felix

      totally taking my 2 month old out. my excuse is if i eat candy he gets it too. And i want to watch his sister trick or treat, and she needs walked to the door

  • C.J.

    My younger daughter’s first Halloween I dressed her up and carried her while I took my three year out for Halloween. I didn’t give her a trick or treat bag figuring that would let people know she wasn’t trick or treating, she was only 5 months old. Everyone tried to give her candy, I kept saying she wasn’t trick or treating. A lot of people insisted she should have candy and put extra in her sister’s bag. I didn’t take my older one out until she was 2 and could hold her own bag to go to the few houses we went to. My big thing is if the kids are polite. I don’t care how old they are as long as they are polite. I never turn anyone away though, don’t want my house egged!

  • Rachel Sea

    I save the banana flavored Tootsie Rolls for those people.

    • Shelly Lloyd

      I actually like the banana flavored Tootsie rolls :-)

    • Zoe Lansing

      You’re probably a socialist too.

    • Rachel Sea

      You darn pinkos and your un-American love of artificial banana flavoring! Get off my lawn. *shakes fist*

      Or get on my lawn, and finish these disgusting non-candies before I throw them away. Whichever.

    • Zoe Lansing

      I actually love those (I’m weird)!

    • Rachel Sea

      You people are foiling my fiendish plan.

    • Zoe Lansing

      Well,I did campaign for him.Both times!

    • Paul White

      I’m stopping by your house.

    • meteor_echo

      Can I stay in your yard forever? :3

  • Blahblah

    I will give anyone IN A COSTUME candy. If you wander up to my door and you’re clearly just a Juvenile Delinquent or a Young Adult, you get nothing. But no, I don’t give your dog candy, nor do I stock a bowl of dog treats. If you’re a parent taking an older kid trick or treating and your tiny baby is dressed up, I ooh and aah, but I don’t offer them candy. Because I didn’t think a baby ate candy. If you’re the parent and ask nice, I might give you a piece. Depends on what’s in my bowl/how late it is.

    I’ve seen 30 year olds trick or treating. They can have candy. I trick or treated until I was 20, always in a costume. I helped little kids cross the street and stopped a few from out running their parents. No one looked at me funny, everyone gave me candy. It was awesome. I only quit because drinking at a party was more fun.

  • Ana

    I’m planning on taking my 16 month old just to the houses on our street. Our neighbors are pretty tight and I want to show her off in her octopus costume. She can walk and probably carry a bag, but definitely cannot say “Trick or Treat”. She can eat candy that it isn’t too hard or chewy. Is this going to make me look greedy though?

    • EX

      I think if she’s old enough to enjoy going door to door then it doesn’t really matter if she can say trick or treat or even eat the candy. My daughter was about that age last Halloween and she had an absolute blast running around the neighborhood with some of the older kids trick or treating. She had no idea what candy even was but had fun taking it in and out of her basket when we got back home. Of course we only went to a few houses (neighbors that we know) and ended up giving most of her candy away.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      No, toddlers are fine. We’ve seriously had those babies that are so young you wonder if they shouldn’t even be allowed out of the hospital yet. That’s what I object to. Yes, your newborn infant is cute. No, you don’t need candy. You just gave birth. Go back to bed.

    • http://ichasekids.com/ Litterboxjen

      Can she say “please” and maybe “thank you”? That’s what we’re figuring our kid will say, instead of “trick or treat”, though we’re going to work on that, too. Sometimes even the verbose ones get panicked in front of strangers. :)

    • Lee

      Last year I taught my son to say “Boo” since there was no way he could say trick or treat.

  • Shelly Lloyd

    I’m the type that just don’t care, I’ll give out candy to whoever asks for it. If I’m home. When the kids were little I was the one who took them out trick or treating. Now that they are teens they really don’t want to trick or treat anymore, so often Halloween night is a party at a friend’s house. I’ll get together with the other moms and we’ll watch scary movies and drink :-)

  • Lee

    I took my 14 month old son down our block last year so the neighbors could see his hilarious Christmas Story pink nightmare costume and we went to a Halloween event in the town square and will probably do the same this year.

    I trick or treated until I was 16 and always in costume. The last year I went a 20 something woman said “Aren’t you two a little old for trick or treating?”. I very enthusiastically said “You are never too old for free candy!” She responded by giving us a handful of candy and saying “Well, I guess I can’t argue with that.”

    • Zoe Lansing

      Where did you get the pink bunny Christmas story costume? My stepbrother is seriously obsessed with that movie (he even has a leg lamp on top of his tree instead of an angel) and would absolutely love it if I got that for my 2 month old nephew!Even if he couldn’t wear it for Halloween due to sizing or something,he’d have him wear it for Christmas,Easter,family photos,whatever.

    • Erica

      make your own =)

    • Zoe Lansing

      I could attempt it but I’m not exactly crafty.I’m ok making my own costumes because I make sure there’s no sewing or anything involving any sort of small muscle coordination involved.I almost failed home ec any semester we did sewing in middle school because it always took me almost the entire class period just to thread my needle. My poor nephew would probably look like a blob of Pepto Bismol if I tried to sew him that costume.Talk about your aunt making you look like a pink nightmare!

    • Lee

      I made it using a store bought pink bunny costume and added dark pink felt to the ears and ears, googly eyes, noses, and mouths to the feet. I found some black kids sunglasses and popped the lenses out. I used embroidery thread for the noses and mouths. It was pretty easy to make.

  • Zoe Lansing

    I’m 26 and seriously still look 11 (sometimes 16 depending on what I wear).When I was 24,I helped my friend take her kids trick-or-treating.I got lots of nasty looks from people who thought I was a petulant tween older sibling who wanted candy but wasn’t wearing a costume even though I didn’t have anything I was holding out expectantly or anything.Last year my friend said her kids wanted me to come with them again. I decided I might as well make something good out of the situation.I dressed as Rainbow Brite,went out with my friend and her kids,and got quite a haul from people who apparently appreciated a “tween” making the effort to dress up.As to not profit from my latent dishonesty,I gave most of the candy I collected to my boyfriend (now fiance) to bring to the children’s hospital he works at and brought the rest to the mental health hotline I work at for the volunteers to enjoy.Well,I did eat couple of Reese’s cups first and snagged a Snickers bar cause those things are amazing frozen,so it wasn’t entirely a selfless venture.

    My friend and her kids want me to go trick-or-treating with them again this year.I’m thinking of going as Tai Frasier ,my favorite character from my favorite comedy,”Clueless”, who was played by my favorite actress ever,Brittany Murphy.I worry,however, that some people won’t get the reference.They might just think 90′s fashions are back and I’m a tween in everyday clothes asking for candy.As if! I’m actually a 26-year-old in costume asking for candy.

  • Mikster

    I have NO problem with teens coming to my house and I give them MORE. I’d rather let them have their last chance at childhood.

    • Zoe Lansing

      That’s awesome.Kids are forced to grow up too fast in many ways today and childhood is already so short.

    • Aldonza

      I was a teen who looooved getting dressed up and Trick ‘r Treating. I was crushed when none of my friends wanted to go around anymore because they were “too cool”. I used to volunteer to take around my friends younger siblings so I could dress up and have buddies. Dude, if it was socially acceptable I would still dress up and go out.

    • Byron

      Cosplay. Look it up. There’s whole conventions where dressing up is actually the “cool” thing to do.

      Also, liking stuff like anime or videogames or comic books helps but even if you’re some random dude who likes costumes or even a furry or something, you’re still welcome.

    • EX

      I’m all for teens trick or treating. Did it myself. But it really bugs me when they don’t even attempt a costume.

    • Patria Zuleikah Walker

      *reads: “their last chance at childhood.”*

    • Patria Zuleikah Walker

      Mikster, since I’ve read the part that says “last chance at childhood,” I thought, “Ooooh no.”

  • YouareDull

    Tins of sardines? Really? Why not just shut your light off or hand out a single piece of candy to those you don’t feel deserve it or who may be ‘taking advantage’ in your eyes.
    Halloween is about having a good time. No matter what your age. Some teens may not have a costume because they don’t support themselves and their parents weren’t willing to fund one for them. Some new parents may really just be trying to enjoy being a new parent and are just trying to feel good the night of halloween with their baby. I swear people are so rude and just…mean. If you have a problem with giving candy away to anyone, perhaps you shouldn’t be doing it at all.
    If you feel as though because you take so much time bagging out candies for the kids in your neighborhood that it has somehow made you hostile over who is actually getting the candies….perhaps you should relax?? Not everything has to be so serious. Make it easier on yourself and everyone else and just enjoy what is supposed to be a good time for all.

    • Zoe Lansing

      Yes,some teens might not be able to afford a costume but a lot of them are just lazy or think they’re too cool to wear one and want the candy anyway.I grew up in a mostly affluent area and knew kids who always had money from their parents to buy new,expensive clothes,go to the movies and out to eat with their friends,etc. but who still went trick-or-treating without costumes once they reached a certain age.Even if someone doesn’t have a lot of money,they don’t have to buy a fancy costume.I know plenty of people who made and/or make their own or their kids’ costumes from stuff they already had around the house.One year my cousin and several friends all dressed in green and went as “gangrene ” (a bunch of teens in green= in gang green =gangrene.Get it?They had to explain it to a most people but got lots of laughs).Some kids just wear their pajamas and go as Rip Van Winkle or,if they have a stuffed animal and/or pacifier,a baby.Teens just can wear a sports jersey they already have or borrow from a friend and team colors and go as a superfan or denim overalls and a plaid shirt and go as a farmer or something. Whatever! I think most people just want to see some small amount of effort put in.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      Yes! Like, a little freakin’ effort! One of my favorite costumes was a cardboard box the teenager had painted as a Rubix Cube. She scored so much candy off of me. Don’t just show up with a pillowcase and nothing else and hold it open and don’t even bother to say “trick or treat” and then glare at me when I just put one piece in your bag! We get that sooo much!

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      I spend about $85-100 a year on other people’s kids candy. I KNOW the kids in my neighborhood. These kids are not. Parents drop off their kids in my neighborhood (whole unruly parties of teenagers, oftentimes). It is chaos. Kids leave wrappers in our yard, they trample all over our grass, they shout and push. It’s basically like an insane concert or something. And I honestly don’t mind as long as they realize: I am not a fucking free candy service. Have some manners. Don’t complain that I don’t give you many pieces (we get 400 kids a year). Wear a goddamned costume because that’s the expectation. And yes, teeny tiny babies with their parents….I love to see them, but why in the hell do they need candy? They don’t! I love Halloween, but people are so rude and ungrateful sometimes. I’m fine with it when they treat me with respect. Why do I need to spend $100 to get treated like my neighborhood is a party and I owe them candy AND they can act like assholes to me? I think people above are pissed off about rude Halloween visitors, not everyone.

    • NicknamesAreDull

      Your suggestions are duly noted, but frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

  • whiteroses

    I admit that I took my three month old trick or treating- but I had a few rules. He would only be going to the houses of people he knew, four houses MAX, and we drove. This year, he’s a bit older (15 months), but the same rules will still apply. We didn’t do it for the candy, but somehow ended up with some anyway.

    To be honest, I can’t really imagine taking a three month old to random houses. It was more a “you think my baby’s cute? Check him out in a dragon costume!” Now that he can walk, it will be even better.

    By the way- I’m going to be Mary Poppins, and he will be Michael Banks. We’ll have matching or complementing costumes until he says otherwise, and to be honest, mine is the more complicated of the two.

  • dcford

    I was just talking to a friend about this. I think people being immediately annoyed when they see teens trick or treating is unfair. I remember enthusiastically dressing up with a friend when we were 17 years old (we were pirates or something) to take her younger sister out. We got many weird stares and comments from adults who answered their doors like we must be up to no good. I was like, ok dude, I may not be in elementary school but I’m still a kid and celebrating Halloween just like the next one – with candy, scary movies, and decorations! Also I think most parents of infants who take their babies out could care less about the candy, they just want to show off their cute little ones in costumes, which I personally think is fine. I’ve has many say no thank you to the candy anyway.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      See, you were teenagers who dressed up, though. If they bother to dress up, I’m all for it!

  • Tea

    I was my teenage cousin’s favorite excuse to go trick or treating with her friends, they’d all dress up and walk me around their neighborhood, and if they ran into cool kids, they totally were just taking their baby cousin out, yes, that, totally.

    I made spending money through high school and most of college building costumes and props, and it made me really sad to stop trick or treating at 14, because I was so proud of my work and wanted to show it off.

  • Zoe Lansing

    I’m 26 but I seriously look 11 (maybe 16 when dressed professionally).Two years ago,when I was 24, my friend asked me to help her take her kids trick-or-treating.Even though I didn’t have anything I was holding out to collect candy in,I got tons of dirty looks from people who assumed I was a petulant tween older sibling who wanted candy but refused to wear a costume.Last Halloween,my friend said her kids wanted me to join them again.I decided I might as well make the best of the situation.I dressed as Rainbow Brite and brought in quite a haul from people who were probably happy to see a tween in costume happily trick-or-treating with her mother and younger siblings.As to not directly benefit from my latent dishonesty,I gave a lot of the candy to my boyfriend (now fiance) to bring to the children’s hospital he works at and took the rest to the mental health hotline I work at for the volunteers to enjoy.Well,I did eat a couple Reese’s cups when I first got home and snagged a Snickers because those things are awesome frozen.

    My friend asked me to go trick-or-treating with her and her kids again this year.I was thinking of going as Tai from “Clueless” because she’s my favorite character from my favorite comedy and was played by my favorite actress,Brittany Murphy.I’m afraid some people won’t get the reference,though.They might just think 90s fashions are back in and that I’m just a tween in my regular clothes wanting candy. As if! I’ll be a 26-year-old in costume wanting candy.

  • Zoe Lansing

    Thinking about this further (I’ve got too much time on my hands today apparently),just like I’m 26 and look 11,there are 11-year-olds who look like college students.Some kids grow and/or develop really early.So the “older teen” you shoot the evil eye,slam the door on, or give the worst candy (or sardines lol) might actually be the same age or younger than the adorable kid you happily hand a treat.I’d say just smile and give the same candy to anyone who’s polite,wearing some semblance of a costume,and shows up at a reasonable hour.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      polite :)

    • Eric Carpenter

      Thanks for that. We’ve already got that response involving sports teams with our five year old daughter. She’s advanced physically and mentally, but she’s still a five year old emotionally.

      The sports response? Since she’s bigger, she belongs with the eight year olds.

      Physically, she’s fine. Ability and emotionally? She’s a bit behind. We work with her on being herself…but it’s people like the rest of these posting here that assume ‘size’ equals ‘age’ that causes problems.

  • Yves

    Ugh yes the parents with babies are so annoying. Your baby cannot eat candy. So why am I giving a grown adult candy? Not for nothing, the bags of it isn’t cheap and I am poor. Alright fine, come show off your baby in their cute costume, but you are not getting my expensive candy meant for little kids. Your fat self comes to my door, takes candy meant for kids…then a little kid comes and I’m all out of candy because adults stole it from them. Same with teens with no costumes. I don’t care if you’re a teen but at least put a little effort in, dress up! Don’t just be a big oaf stealing candy from little kids.

    This year, the baby-adults and costume-less teens will be given the cheap “sad candy” yes I am keeping 2 different bowls this year.

    This is clearly a pet peeve of mine based on my anger in this comment LOL

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      In the past, our “sad candy” has been that shitty orange and black wrapped peanut butter crap. :)

    • 88Mwife

      I really like those! Those and Mary Janes were usually my entire Halloween haul because I would trade my (7) siblings for theirs. I can’t even find them now!

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      Yes, I suspected these people exist, but I wasn’t really sure! I wish I could mail you a bag! But they still have them at Wal Mart most years.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      I totally had a ton of Halloween rage; I didn’t realize until one of my comments above. I was like, “holy shit, I had no idea this made me so angry.”

    • Eric Carpenter

      Thanks for being the judge of what’s ‘appropriate’ for Halloween! I’m sure the rest of the neighborhood appreciates such wonderful gatekeeping!

      Please ensure the rest of the holidays are specifically enforced. Please remember that Christmas was enforced on the current date by the Catholic Church, Thanksgiving is only for celebrating for Puritans and Easter is really out for celebrating many of the pagan symbolism.

      Keep up the grand work!

  • BooWho

    So… what do you propose they do? I’d much rather have bored teens innocently trick or treating than egging houses or otherwise causing mayhem. Maybe you can brainstorm with community members to offer them an alternative?

  • chickadee

    I used to give more candy to parents who brought their children around — we used to have clearly poor families come by the house, and I always gave candy to the parents. Yeah, they had no costumes, and maybe it was lame or cheating or cheap or whatever for them to ask for candy too. But any adult who will ask for candy while their kid is going around is clearly worse off than I am, and I’ll give them some Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. No skin off my nose.

  • YogurtWhale

    I stopped dressing up when I was 16. Mainly because I couldn’t think of anything, or couldn’t find anything last minute. That didn’t stop me from going out though. I have a brother who was 10 at the time, and was the responsible adult. Some people still gave me candy though. And at one point, he was refusing to go to houses that scared him/ were too far up the block, so I took his bag and went for him. I always pointed back at him, and explained that it was for him, and he got some candy. I think he would have been pissed if someone gave him sardines, simply because he wasn’t the one who went to the door.

  • angus young

    I really like passing out candy- even to older kids without costume. I have a soft spot for kids in their awkward years. I remember that time in my life, an all those emotions, so vividly.

  • Haradanohime

    When I was quite a bit younger I used to go trick or treating with my nieces and nephews (There was not much of an age gap between myself and them.) The last year I went trick or treating I was devastated by the rudeness of some people. I was only 12 (but apparently looked much older), and my I was walking up to the houses with my nieces and nephews while my siblings waited patiently chatting at the road. I was dressed up as were the others and I was told point blank I was “too old for trick or treating.” Not just by one person either. It got to the point that when my youngest niece, who was just turned 13 months but had been actively going up and holding her bucket out for candy, fell asleep. When I got odd looks for holding a bucket when I went up with the others (who were far from tired) I pointed back at the stroller and said the bucket was hers. Even then they still looked strange at me. In the end I was so disgusted I ended up giving my portion to split between the younger ones. The experience had made me sick. Needless to say I had nothing to do with trick or treating afterward for a long time after (unless I handed out the candy). So yeah.

    But, I don’t blame people for not wanting to hand out candy to people obviously not even attempting to dress up. But if someone is dressed up what can one little fun sized candy bar hurt? You never know when who you thought was a mooching adult was actually a pre/teen who didn’t look her age.

  • Bee

    Um…Im taking my baby trick or treating with my older child. And I was totally planning on going up to peoples doors so they could see a cute baby costume. I had no intention of collecting candy but sheesh now Im thinking people will think Im some greedy parent expecting candy handouts :( So now its shameful to take your kids trick or treating? Gosh, Im gonna have to start writing this shit down, I cant keep track of all the innocent parenting moves that seem to irrationally piss people off. And I love seeing teenagers as long as they’re not being jerks. And most of them enjoy seeing the kids costumes & get into the holiday.

  • Elisa Probert

    If they have a costume, I’ll give them candy. Heck, I’ll probably give it even if they don’t. I’m a pushover.

    At my old house, we’d get maybe three, four groups, tops. I’d have a big punch bowl FULL and we’d end up eating it all or giving it to my niece, who came from the next town over to trick or treat from me. Her older brother, then 12, is a BIG kid, but mentally much younger than 12. He borrowed his dad’s old Dracula cape, made up his face, and went around his own neighborhood. Nobody would give him anything because he was “too old,” and if he said he was only 12, they’d accuse him of lying. So, when my niece asked if she could take a little candy for her brother, I gave her the green light, and was pleased to see her taking candies she did not like, but that her brother loves. I loaded her bucket up to the top. LOL

    I’m getting full-size candy bars this year. MUHAHAHAHAHAaa

  • http://ichasekids.com/ Litterboxjen

    My rule of thumb is that younger kids get more candy, because a) they’re adorable, and b) they’re probably going to fewer houses. I don’t care who eats it, it’s the experience.

    For older kids? They get one piece, or maybe two if they’re polite/have awesome costumes.

    My only annoyance is the kids that ring the bell after the lights are off. I’ll turn off all the lights in the front half of the house, and sometimes still get the odd kid coming up. Sorry dude, but we ran out/gave up and it’s late o’clock. Learn the rules — lights off = all done/not participating. :)

    ETA – last year I had a kid try to come by the house twice. I called him out when he came back, and he apologized, but I couldn’t tell if he genuinely didn’t realize he’d already been, or if he was trying to grab extra from us. Our candy wasn’t anything special, so I think it might’ve been a mistake.

  • workingMom

    Honestly I think seeing the infants and toddlers in their adorable costumes is worth the price of handing out candy. That is my favorite part of the holiday. I don’t care if the kids eat the candy. I wish we could find another tradition than giving out candy, but then I guess the kids wouldn’t bother to do it for a book or a toothbrush. I find the candy part annoying now that I have kids because I don’t really want my kids to have that much. I end up taking it to work to get rid of it. I did take my daughter to 1 house when she was 10 months old. She just learned to walk and looked adorable in her kangaroo costume. It was too cute not to show off. It was her first taste of chocolate that one little fun sized hershey bar. I even tried to refuse the candy but my one neighbor insisted we take it so we have so few kids who trick or treat in our neighborhood. We got great pictures. The next year we did take her to a few more houses. She got to eat some of the candy. It was really the only time she got candy so it was very special to her. My youngest has been going out as an infant because her older sister went out. Nobody seemed to judge us. Some people even insisted on giving her candy even though she was too young to eat it. They did not want to leave her out. The whole fun is everybody being out on the street in costumes, seeing neighbors that you are usually too busy to talk to. Last year we found out that two kids in my daughter’s class actually live near us and we were able to connect with the parents. These are the memories that make parenting fun, not the candy. If you don’t want to participate, turn out your lights and don’t give any out. I would rather that than worry people are resenting me for letting my kids trick or treat before you feel they are old enough.

  • Allie

    What a Grinch! I agree kids should be polite and not grab candy from the bowl, but I have no problem with uncostumed teens and parents with infants coming to the door. If the teens are polite and utter the requisite “trick or treat,” they will be rewarded with some candy. As for the parents with infants, they are doing it for the experience, not for a lousy little piece of chocolate that costs you a few cents. If you are going to be such a crank, why not just shut off your lights and go out. I will be trick or treating with my 10-month old. Just a few houses for the experience and my neighbours will be delighted to see her out and about on her first Hallowe’en. We’ll go early and then I will come home and give out candy to the teenagers cuz that’s what civilized people do.

  • Yummy

    I agree with half of this. As far as I’m concerned, if you (or your new born) are in a costume, then candy for you! ANYone wearing a costume can have my candy. No costume? No candy.

  • Sylvie Quinn

    Every Halloween I always make up the little bags of candy, and have a few separate ones just for offenders like you mentioned. Inside instead of candy,would be a couple of dog biscuits,and note saying, (“If you’re wondering why you got such a crappy treat it was for one or 2 reasons. Either you were not in costume, or you refused to say “Trick or Treat”) I’m not talking about really small kids, but the ones old enough to not just stand there with their bags open demanding candy. I found that this way I don’t get my house toilet papered or cursed at because the offenders don’t know which house it came from. I don’t care how old you are if you’re in costume you get a treat that includes adults.

    • Eric Carpenter

      So…you can tell automatically that a child is ten and not polite, or a child is 7 and just tall and shy? Congratulations on your wonderful ability.

      Hope you don’t cause tears like people have my my overly tall five year old.

      Enjoy your wonderful holiday for ‘small’ kids.

  • staferny

    Kids that don’t dress up, especially ones that can’t even be bothered to say “Trick or Treat” make me angry, but then again I’m generally a cynical bitch.
    One of teens a few years ago (on his 3rd time around to my house that night) got a cold stare for an awkward 10 seconds before he just gave up and walked away. Before anyone jumps down my throat about some people not having money for a costume, we didn’t have much money when I was a kid, but the paper bag princess, a hobo, or the same witch costume that you’ve worn for the last 3 years… free.

  • Woodsy buzz

    My son was 11 months old for his first Halloween . We reversed trick-or treated. We went to the neighbors we knew with candy for their kids and didnt accept candy in return. he got the experience of going door to door but not what he couldn’t eat. One neighbor had goldfish packs for the lil kids so we took those.

  • Randil

    I seriously hate this attitude. Mainly bc even when a child is dressed up but “looks too old” for the persons taste they automatically are rude. My son has ALWAYS been tall and since he was say 8 or 9 I have had to actually go up to the house with him and tell people his age because they would flat out refuse to give him candy.

    I told him his last year for trick or treating was 12. But at 12 he was already 5ft 10 in and yea lets just say the amount of people who refused to give him candy even after he said trick or treat and told him his age was quite ridiculous.

    Now he’s the one giving out candy.

    • Eric Carpenter

      I’ve got to appreciate this. My five year old is over four feet tall. We have to put her in ‘older’ classes in various sports to keep things fair on a sheer physical level, even if her abilities aren’t up to snuff with the older kids.

      I’m really looking forward to how all the people here who hate older kids will react to a tall ten year old trick or treating. Hope they enjoy the tears of a kid bigger than others, but just as emotionally mature.

      Thanks, all you grinches.

  • Lady D

    When, as a teenager (14), I knew trick or treating was over for me, was when the door opened, I and my evil twin said “trick or treat” and the man in the doorway looked us up and down (lavaciously) and said “trick, I hope.” We were NOT dressed as in sexy costumes, we were witches, long skirts and dr. Marten boots. We went home and never trick or treated again.

  • Eric Carpenter

    Wow…what a bunch of grinches. Seriously. Halloween is a fun time for everyone, not just for YOUR pre-determined image of what is ‘fun.’

    Guess what? I give out full sized candy bars to anyone who stops by. I couldn’t care less if they were 1 or 100. It’s the fun of the holiday.

    I’m sure everyone here will only give Christmas greetings to those of their direct religion. Or only celebrate Thanksgiving with Puritans…after all, they are the group that specifically started it.

    What a bunch of killjoys. Enjoy yelling, “You kids stay off my lawn!” in a few years.

  • Eric Carpenter

    The more I read, the more depressed I get.

    Are there REALLY this many Hallowe’en police? Really?

    My daughter has been dressing up since her first Hallowe’en. No, she didn’t go Trick or Treating on her first Hallowe’en, she went to an organ concert where she ended up part of the event.

    Since then, she’s loved Hallowe’en and picked out her own costume for each time.

    I’m sure most of you will love denying her candy when she’s seven, just because she’ll probably be as big as an average twelve year old (at five, she’s taller than most eight year olds). Please, let me know, what sort of documentation will you require for candy when you suspect a child is too old.

    Better yet, please let me know where you grinches live, so I can make sure to avoid obviously unpleasant people.

  • runabutt26

    I was agree,That’s awesome.Kids are forced to grow up too fast in many ways today and childhood is already so short,”

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  • Beth

    I feel like you should put forth some effort. SO for the people (usually older kids) who show up with no costumes, I simply ask for them to share a talent- a quick silly song and dance, a random fact they know or learned in school- something. Last year I had a kid refuse, so I exained that everyone else did something to get candy and if they aren’t willing to even sing a simple kid’s song, they can come back next year and try again in costume or ready to perform. I don’t think it is unreasonable and still keeps a fun feeling to Halloween.

  • Patria Zuleikah Walker

    What the heck is wrong with you?

  • Patria Zuleikah Walker

    You’re NEVER too old for trick-or-treating.

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