Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Holidays => Topic started by: anonever13 on November 01, 2012, 08:25:18 PM

Title: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
Post by: anonever13 on November 01, 2012, 08:25:18 PM
This happened while I was passing out candy on Halloween.

Let me start out by saying that my Halloween decorations include a talking skeleton who sticks out his tongue and has eyes that bug out.  It's activated by motion.  I hang the skeleton on my door, and it gives me a heads up when the trick or treaters are entering my yard.

Three kids who live down the street from my house (I don't know where they live exactly, but I see them riding their bikes past my house all the time) came to my door trick or treating.  I believe they are first or second generation immigrants to the U.S., but had never talked to them before.  They weren't wearing costumes that I could tell (it's cold in my area of the U.S., so they could have been wearing costumes underneath their coats) and I gave them some candy.  About five minutes later I opened the door to find they had returned with their elderly grandmother.  I don't think she spoke much, if any, English.  She was laughing away at the skeleton on my door, and I figured they had come back to show her the skeleton.  I stood there with the door open for a minute waiting for them to leave again, when one of the kids piped up and said she wanted some candy too.   :o 

I thought that they didn't understand the trick or treating customs, and I didn't feel it was my place to let them know that the candy was just for the kids, so I gave her a piece, and they left afterwards.  To be honest, I also felt that since they were neighbors I wanted to keep on their good side.

I'm curious, would you have corrected their misunderstanding about the custom?  I know if these people were friends or acquaintances I probably would have, but with strangers I wouldn't feel comfortable doing so. 
Title: Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
Post by: MorgnsGrl on November 01, 2012, 08:57:15 PM
Eh, I would have given her some, too. They'll figure it out in time, and it's no big deal.

Personally, I *love* Halloween and am happy to give candy to anyone who makes even a slight attempt at a costume, even adults.
Title: Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
Post by: KenveeB on November 01, 2012, 09:53:23 PM
I probably would've done what I did with any other TOTer who didn't have an apparent costume -- smile and ask "Oh, what's your costume?" That gets out the idea that it's at least meant for costuming, if not that it's a kids thing (which I don't think it is! :)), but is still friendly. I'd've given a piece of candy too, but I do that with anyone who shows up.
Title: Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
Post by: Enkidu on November 01, 2012, 11:13:41 PM
I would not have corrected the assumption about the custom, especially after the specific request for candy. What good would it do to embarrass her?
Title: Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
Post by: Rohanna on November 01, 2012, 11:29:24 PM
Sounds like they were polite and had fun, so I wouldn't worry about an extra piece of candy for an elderly immigrant woman. It probably made her grandkids' day to show her something fun from their new country :)
Title: Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
Post by: RingTailedLemur on November 02, 2012, 06:29:05 AM
I probably would've done what I did with any other TOTer who didn't have an apparent costume -- smile and ask "Oh, what's your costume?" That gets out the idea that it's at least meant for costuming, if not that it's a kids thing (which I don't think it is! :)), but is still friendly. I'd've given a piece of candy too, but I do that with anyone who shows up.

The first thing that came to my mind was a kid in a very convincing "elderly grandmother" costume, ha!   ;D
Title: Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
Post by: Sharnita on November 02, 2012, 07:17:14 AM
Not everyone has the same policy on this, though.  Some people will give to anybody in a costume no matter what the age, some to any kid whether they are in costume, some to anybody who comes trick or treating no matter what and some people to nobody at all.  Now the majority are to costumed kids but they will observe exceptions to that wile they are out.  Trying to explain all of that would be too hard.  Heck, maybe the kids had already seen an adult get candy somewhere else.
Title: Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
Post by: shivering on November 02, 2012, 11:30:28 AM
Nah, I wouldn't begrudge her a piece of candy. It sounds like it was a fun experience for both the kids and Grandma. And it doesn't seem like they brought her just for the candy. They probably wanted to show her the skeleton and since she's already on the porch, of course she wants candy!
Title: Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
Post by: Acadianna on November 02, 2012, 07:23:58 PM
I did have one person who (near as I could tell) was an adult, who asked for candy.  I just gave it to him -- I figured it was easier than making an issue of it.  Besides, it's possible he was collecting for a sick child at home or something like that.

Now if a large proportion of the grown-ups were asking for candy, I might have begun to react differently, if only because my already-high candy costs would probably have doubled.
Title: Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
Post by: rose red on November 02, 2012, 07:51:31 PM
I'd rather give candy to a laughing elderly person than a pack of un-costumed teenagers who just stand there staring at me.  I only give the teens candy because I'm scared.  :P
Title: Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
Post by: Surianne on November 03, 2012, 07:37:34 AM
I'd have done the same as you and just given her the candy -- as another poster said, they'll figure it out at some point, and trying to correct her probably would have been awkward/embarrassing for her.  Sounds like a good interaction all around  :)
Title: Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
Post by: 25wishes on November 03, 2012, 12:29:02 PM
2 bowls - good candy (hershey's  miniatures) for kids in costume

 "meh" candy (twizzlers, Dots) for those not in costume.

I always hated getting Dots when I was a kid. For those who don't know, they are more like plastic than candy.
Title: Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
Post by: yokozbornak on November 03, 2012, 12:33:25 PM
I think that this is a sweet story, and I am glad you gave her candy without saying anything.  There's no reason to spoil her joy.  It probably made her night!
Title: Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
Post by: SamiHami on November 03, 2012, 02:37:11 PM
2 bowls - good candy (hershey's  miniatures) for kids in costume

 "meh" candy (twizzlers, Dots) for those not in costume.

I always hated getting Dots when I was a kid. For those who don't know, they are more like plastic than candy.

Since when are twizzers 'meh'? I'd much rather have them than the hershey's mini's!  :)
Title: Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
Post by: mj on November 03, 2012, 02:45:40 PM
I think it was a cute story.  The elderly woman never Tricked or Treat before, now she got the experience. 

We gave out a lot of candy to older kids this year, mostly because they were walking their younger siblings around for trick or treat.  I didn't feel right not giving them anything.
Title: Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
Post by: Just Lori on November 03, 2012, 03:43:32 PM
During last Halloween, our church was hosting four homeless families who were spending their nights at local churches while they tried to get their feet back under them.  I volunteered to take the kids trick-or-treating. When I showed up with my assortment of borrowed costumes, a couple of teen-agers asked if they could go.  I figured why not? It's hard enough to be a teen these days, much less one who's living in church basements because they don't have any place to call home.  Then one of the mothers announced that she was going to trick-or-treat.  I didn't want to have an awkward conversation, so I just went along with it.  I like to think that a small bucket of miniature candy bars was one of the highlights of an otherwise difficult year for her.

Title: Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
Post by: Mikayla on November 06, 2012, 03:00:15 PM
2 bowls - good candy (hershey's  miniatures) for kids in costume

 "meh" candy (twizzlers, Dots) for those not in costume.

I always hated getting Dots when I was a kid. For those who don't know, they are more like plastic than candy.

Since when are twizzers 'meh'? I'd much rather have them than the hershey's mini's!  :)

Ha!  Same here.  Twizzlers are elite.

OP, I think you handled this well. 
Title: Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
Post by: Bijou on November 24, 2012, 05:55:12 PM
Knock on my door and say "trick or treat' and you'll end up with a treat.*  I don't care.  Costume, no costume, old, young, in between, doesn't matter to me.  We rarely get any trick or treaters anyway, but just the same I am happy to give treats to anyone.

Only on Halloween, of course.  :P
Title: Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
Post by: Corvid on November 26, 2012, 05:02:36 PM
Knock on my door and say "trick or treat' and you'll end up with a treat.*  I don't care.  Costume, no costume, old, young, in between, doesn't matter to me.  We rarely get any trick or treaters anyway, but just the same I am happy to give treats to anyone.

Only on Halloween, of course.  :P

Darn it.  Scratch that plan...
Title: Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
Post by: beakiebean on December 01, 2012, 08:58:24 PM
2 bowls - good candy (hershey's  miniatures) for kids in costume

 "meh" candy (twizzlers, Dots) for those not in costume.

I always hated getting Dots when I was a kid. For those who don't know, they are more like plastic than candy.

Lol-but Barb-you've got the good and the meh candy bowls switched around!  ;)
Title: Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
Post by: bloo on December 01, 2012, 09:51:35 PM
2 bowls - good candy (hershey's  miniatures) for kids in costume

 "meh" candy (twizzlers, Dots) for those not in costume.

I always hated getting Dots when I was a kid. For those who don't know, they are more like plastic than candy.

Lol-but Barb-you've got the good and the meh candy bowls switched around!  ;)

I'll back you up Barb! ;D

Hershey's are only 'meh', IMO, because I've trained my tongue to only accept, Lindt, Ghirardelli and Godiva among a few others.

But Hershey's are paradise in a wrapper compared to the plasticky taste of Twizzlers and Dots (and their ilk)!