Author Topic: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating  (Read 14210 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Rohanna

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2311
Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #30 on: October 24, 2012, 11:10:19 AM »
ToT'ing starts at about 5 here- after "normal" work hours, and ends around 830. It can be *really* cold by Hallowe'en, so the little kids can't always wait until after sundown (which, due to the region not being in our proper time zone, occurs an hour later than it should anyhow)

I am very suspicious that the letter-writer is exaggerating her "scolding" from the mom, since it's pretty obvious she over-reacted to a couple of small trick-or-treaters.
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. ~ Jack Layton.

Jones

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2419
Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #31 on: October 24, 2012, 12:39:09 PM »
It is freaking snowing here right now! Not even Halloween yet...We may have to do the festivities a little early in the day 'cause there's no way we're slip and sliding in the dark.

Magnet

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 151
Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #32 on: October 24, 2012, 12:49:47 PM »
I live in an apartment building and people who want T or Ters sign up and indicate the hours for which candy will be dispensed.  I would not be happy if some child rang my bell before or after the time specified.  If there were continual ringing of my door before/after the specified time, I feel I am well within my rights to inform the child that he or she is disrupting my dinner and to go away and not come back until the time specified.   

sparksals

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 17262
Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #33 on: October 24, 2012, 12:51:11 PM »
I have never heard of set hours either.  When I was a kid, we went out just at dark, around 5:30 PM and stayed out til around 9.  Sometimes we went home to dump off our first load.  I rarely see kids with pillow cases anymore. 


I think the lady who answered the door was really mean.  Sheeesh!  She took the time to answer the door.  What effort does it take to grab the bowl of candy? 

Diane AKA Traska

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4412
  • Or you can just call me Diane. (NE USA EHellion)
Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #34 on: October 24, 2012, 01:07:23 PM »
I'm going to come off as the Halloween Grinch here, but...

When did simply being Halloween *entitle* kids to candy?  For me, the protocol was always go to the house, knock, say "trick or treat" in a sing-songy voice, and either:

a) Get complimented on my costume and get candy
b) Get complimented on my costume, but be told they were out of candy
c) Get sent away without candy
d) Get ignored.

And you know what happened with house b through d?  I went to the next house!  I agree that she probably shouldn't have answered the door if she'd already sat down to dinner, but just the act of opening the door doesn't require her to dispense candy like a gumball machine.
Location:
Philadelphia, PA

Rohanna

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2311
Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #35 on: October 24, 2012, 01:17:56 PM »
Everything I've ever read says the "established protocol" if you don't want to hand out candy is to make it obvious you aren't offering any (any combination of: no decorations/porch light off/disconnect doorbell/polite sign on door). If you are home, and planning on handing out candy, then I don't see why you need to teach kids a "lesson" when they are doing something culturally appropriate at what most people seem to feel is a reasonable time, just because it's sooner than you'd like.

 If was handing out candy but didn't want to answer the door just then, I'd leave a prominent note and a small bowl of something relatively plain (to discourage someone wanting to grab the whole bowl of something really tempting).

We have so few chances to interact as a neighbourhood, its a shame when people on either side ruin it (either greedy parents driving kids around all night to the "good" neighborhoods"*, or cranky people yelling at kids for doing what they're told they are allowed to do).

*note: I don't count people who let their kids go around friends or grandparents neighbourhoods- or people who live in unsafe areas (I live off a busy street- we NEVER get ToT'ers :(  )- I mean people who bus in vanloads of kids to the rich areas to the point people get pissed off and stop giving out candy.

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. ~ Jack Layton.

Diane AKA Traska

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4412
  • Or you can just call me Diane. (NE USA EHellion)
Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #36 on: October 24, 2012, 01:24:10 PM »
Around here, the protocol is no light visible in the house, period.  No lamps, no TV, the house has to be utterly dark or CANDY CANDY CANDY!

Yeah, no.  I don't think so, kid.  That said, this year we actually have the money to do candy giving, and if I have my way we're gonna.  I just hate the culture of "you HAVE to!"
Location:
Philadelphia, PA

O'Dell

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4372
Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #37 on: October 24, 2012, 01:26:48 PM »
I'm going to come off as the Halloween Grinch here, but...

When did simply being Halloween *entitle* kids to candy?  For me, the protocol was always go to the house, knock, say "trick or treat" in a sing-songy voice, and either:

a) Get complimented on my costume and get candy
b) Get complimented on my costume, but be told they were out of candy
c) Get sent away without candy
d) Get ignored.

And you know what happened with house b through d?  I went to the next house!  I agree that she probably shouldn't have answered the door if she'd already sat down to dinner, but just the act of opening the door doesn't require her to dispense candy like a gumball machine.

Except for c) that's how it worked when I was a kid. But I notice your list doesn't include e) go away and come back later. I think the LW would have been fine if she had said "I don't have the candy ready." It's the implication that the kids did somethign wrong with showing up when they did. I don't recall reading anything in the letter about set ToTing hours and I'd imagine this woman would have mentioned it to bolster her point that they were in the wrong.

And anyone answering their door to "teach" the kids a lesson on how to ToT would have been laughed at and mocked by us kids for the rest of the evening. And we might very well have deliberately "tricked" her in subsequent years because of it or maybe even that night. She should be happy that her neighbors kids aren't brats like the kids I grew up with. :D
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Walt Whitman

snowdragon

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2200
Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #38 on: October 24, 2012, 01:30:02 PM »
Around here, the protocol is no light visible in the house, period.  No lamps, no TV, the house has to be utterly dark or CANDY CANDY CANDY!

Yeah, no.  I don't think so, kid.  That said, this year we actually have the money to do candy giving, and if I have my way we're gonna.  I just hate the culture of "you HAVE to!"


  I *HATE* that thinking.... if the porch light is off that should be enough.

Tabby Uprising

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 451
Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #39 on: October 24, 2012, 01:41:23 PM »
I have never heard of set hours either.  When I was a kid, we went out just at dark, around 5:30 PM and stayed out til around 9.  Sometimes we went home to dump off our first load.  I rarely see kids with pillow cases anymore. 


I think the lady who answered the door was really mean.  Sheeesh!  She took the time to answer the door.  What effort does it take to grab the bowl of candy?

I live in a huge neighborhood with a well-organized HOA.  We get monthly newsletters with all the community info/events and October's included helpful ToT tips and guidelines.  Nothing mandated or set in stone, but just suggestions to make it all go smoother.  They asked people not to ToT after 9pm, don't ring the doorbell/knock more than twice and give people a moment to answer, don't walk on yards or through flower beds and if you don't want to give out candy leave your porch light off.

We'll see how that goes!

Rohanna

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2311
Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #40 on: October 24, 2012, 02:05:16 PM »
I do like the towns that give out pumpkin posters (or similar) in the paper or flyers to signify a ToT'ing friendly house- seems like a good way to let families find friendly houses on Hallowe'en, especially if you live somewhere were some folks have become hostile to the custom.

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. ~ Jack Layton.

elephantschild

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1485
Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #41 on: October 24, 2012, 02:06:34 PM »
I also would like to know if the area has set ToT hours. I just checked the times for four communities here (I have them on my desk right now for various reasons ;)) and two of the four fall within that timeframe.

If the area doesn't have set hours or the set hours have already started, I think the LW was quite ... perhaps not rude, but unreasonable. I take my boys out trick-or-treating about that time. I wouldn't call someone to complain, but if they were scolded and sent away, I'd certainly be irritated. (This is presuming that the lights-on protocol is in effect, etc.)

If not, I understand her trying to teach them a lesson, but I don't really think it's her place. Answer the door or don't. ::)
"But there was one Elephant -- a new Elephant -- an Elephant's Child--who was full of 'satiable curtiosity, and that means he asked ever so many questions."
-- "Just So Stories," Rudyard Kipling

jedikaiti

  • Swiss Army Nerd
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2427
  • A pie in the hand is worth two in the mail.
Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #42 on: October 24, 2012, 02:17:42 PM »
I think the LW was rude and out of line, and so was the kids' mom.

I have, in the past, seen TOTers out as early as 3 - I hoped for the kids that lots of people were home that early!

I would not be surprised in the least if my town has set TOT hours - which I tend to think is a guideline for the safety & convenience of kids, parents, and those with candy to give, rather than a hard & fast rule - but I don't know anything about it, and the city website doesn't mention it.

Quite frankly, I think anything after school on a weekday (or similar time for a weekend) is fair game, but waiting until after-work hours is likely to maximize the fun & the haul for the kids.

I just wish parents would explain to their kids to NOT go up and ring bells at houses whose lights are off. We turned off our front light one year when we ran out of candy and half an hour later our doorbell rang. The dog went nuts and I got to explain to a disappointed teenager that we were out of candy, and any other house with their porch light off should be considered off limits, too. He was mystified.

AFAIK, municipalities setting TOT hours is a relatively recent development - I don't recall hearing of it as a kid, but I do recall one occasion when the city I lived in postponed Halloween for a week - it was very cold that year, and there was ice on the roads, so the city officials put out the word asking everyone to wait a week. A few kids came around on Halloween that year, but not many. Most everybody was OK with postponing.

I do like the towns that give out pumpkin posters (or similar) in the paper or flyers to signify a ToT'ing friendly house- seems like a good way to let families find friendly houses on Hallowe'en, especially if you live somewhere were some folks have become hostile to the custom.

When I lived in a large condo tower, the association put up flyers asking people who welcomed TOTers to register their unit # at the front desk. Then, on Halloween, parents could pick up a list and take their kids to just those units.
"The problem with re-examining your brilliant ideas is that more often than not, you discover they are the intellectual equivalent of saying, 'Hold my beer and watch this!'" - Cindy Couture

magicdomino

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4273
Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #43 on: October 24, 2012, 03:22:19 PM »
I have never heard of set hours either.  When I was a kid, we went out just at dark, around 5:30 PM and stayed out til around 9.  Sometimes we went home to dump off our first load.  I rarely see kids with pillow cases anymore. 

6:30 to 9:00 myself -- our parents insisted that we wait until full dark to let people finish their dinner.  Now, it is 7:00 to 8:15, with maybe a straggler around 8:30.  Kids today have no stamina.   ;)

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21245
Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #44 on: October 24, 2012, 03:25:25 PM »
I suspect the established hours exist for a few reasons - homeowners complained that they were being bugged for too long a period, safety for the kids and cities where crime and vandalism were particularly bad on Halloween and the surrounding nights.  If there are established hours and the police see kids out 2 hours after that they can treat it as suspicious behavior.