Author Topic: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating  (Read 15747 times)

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lowspark

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #75 on: October 29, 2012, 09:04:03 AM »
Having re-read the letter it sounds to me that she planned her dinner so she would be done before the trick or treaters would normally have been expected. How would she know what time to be able to plan dinner if there were not set hours? If it were "open season" all day, there really would be no time to she could plan for an uninterrupted dinner.
  Her statements that she "wanted to teach them that they shouldn't overextend the holiday and disrupt other people's lives. "  and that she "sitting down for an early dinner that was planned for 5 p.m. so we wouldn't be disturbed by trick-or-treaters" leads me to believe that there are established hours and the kids violated them.

Where I live, Houston, there are no set hours for ToT. But no, it's not "open season" all day long. It's dusk to about 8:30 with stragglers till 9. And this is what it has been since I was a kid in the 60s.

Everyone eats dinner -- even the kids -- and THEN the ToTing begins. Dusk here is around 630 and that's pretty much when we get our earliest customers.

Now, I realize that different cities/communites have different norms and expectations but I can't imagine that any place has "open season" all day.


Each community sets their hours, which are published in newspapers and shared on the local news.  Honestly, it's such an accepted practice where I live that I don't think it's necessary for anyone to "enforce" them.  It actually didn't even occur to me that people would TOT outside the set hours (I expect a 10 minute window at start and finish). 

I really wish the LW had specified whether there were set hours, although maybe she assumed (like me) that everyplace operated that way.  Also, she only mentions these 3 kids (from the same house) coming early.  If there weren't set hours, wouldn't more kids be showing up? (We don't know the neighborhood, # of kids, parent's work schedule, etc).


Seems that if she assumed such a thing, she'd have done some research to find out IF that were indeed the case and most especially, what the specific set hours were. It's one thing to assume that there ARE set hours, it's a whole other thing to assume what those hours actually are, as I'm sure they vary according to location.

Again, there aren't set hours here, as far as the city or community mandating them, but we just don't get early birds because the norm is to begin at dusk.

I'm guessing that Mom in this case got a bit overenthusiastic and didn't think about how early the kids were going. When my kids were young, sure, they wanted to run out the door and ToT asap. But it was up to me to calm them down a bit and get some dinner into them and then have them wait till the appropriate time.

Again, LW should have just not answered the door. End of story. But I can tell you that as a mother, even if (or maybe especially if) my kids had come home with a story of a rude lady turning them away with a lecture, my reaction would be "avoid that house and that lady, enjoy your candy, and forget about it." The idea of calling her up to chastise her in return is rude and totally unproductive.

ettiquit

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #76 on: October 29, 2012, 11:36:48 AM »
Having re-read the letter it sounds to me that she planned her dinner so she would be done before the trick or treaters would normally have been expected. How would she know what time to be able to plan dinner if there were not set hours? If it were "open season" all day, there really would be no time to she could plan for an uninterrupted dinner.
  Her statements that she "wanted to teach them that they shouldn't overextend the holiday and disrupt other people's lives. "  and that she "sitting down for an early dinner that was planned for 5 p.m. so we wouldn't be disturbed by trick-or-treaters" leads me to believe that there are established hours and the kids violated them.

Where I live, Houston, there are no set hours for ToT. But no, it's not "open season" all day long. It's dusk to about 8:30 with stragglers till 9. And this is what it has been since I was a kid in the 60s.

Everyone eats dinner -- even the kids -- and THEN the ToTing begins. Dusk here is around 630 and that's pretty much when we get our earliest customers.

Now, I realize that different cities/communites have different norms and expectations but I can't imagine that any place has "open season" all day.


Each community sets their hours, which are published in newspapers and shared on the local news.  Honestly, it's such an accepted practice where I live that I don't think it's necessary for anyone to "enforce" them.  It actually didn't even occur to me that people would TOT outside the set hours (I expect a 10 minute window at start and finish). 

I really wish the LW had specified whether there were set hours, although maybe she assumed (like me) that everyplace operated that way.  Also, she only mentions these 3 kids (from the same house) coming early.  If there weren't set hours, wouldn't more kids be showing up? (We don't know the neighborhood, # of kids, parent's work schedule, etc).


Seems that if she assumed such a thing, she'd have done some research to find out IF that were indeed the case and most especially, what the specific set hours were. It's one thing to assume that there ARE set hours, it's a whole other thing to assume what those hours actually are, as I'm sure they vary according to location.

Again, there aren't set hours here, as far as the city or community mandating them, but we just don't get early birds because the norm is to begin at dusk.

I'm guessing that Mom in this case got a bit overenthusiastic and didn't think about how early the kids were going. When my kids were young, sure, they wanted to run out the door and ToT asap. But it was up to me to calm them down a bit and get some dinner into them and then have them wait till the appropriate time.

Again, LW should have just not answered the door. End of story. But I can tell you that as a mother, even if (or maybe especially if) my kids had come home with a story of a rude lady turning them away with a lecture, my reaction would be "avoid that house and that lady, enjoy your candy, and forget about it." The idea of calling her up to chastise her in return is rude and totally unproductive.

Sorry - I meant that she may have not included that detail in her letter because she assumed that set hours were a given.  :)

lowspark

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #77 on: October 29, 2012, 12:02:43 PM »
OIC. :)

I guess we all have that experience about something. You know, the realization that the way we've always done things isn't actually the way everyone else does. And of course, it never occurs to (general) you that others might be doing that thing differently till you actually find out they are. So yeah, I actually never heard of set hours, or changing the ToT day (horrors!) to any day but Oct 31, till I read it on the internet a few years ago.

Shoo

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #78 on: October 29, 2012, 12:08:32 PM »
I can't imagine being so inflexible that I'd refuse to give candy to some toddlers on Halloween just because they rang my bell when we were having dinner.  I mean, seriously?  That's just all kinds of rigid.  Life is too short, KWIM?

I also can't imagine being so upset by my toddlers not receiving candy on Halloween from the rigid-witch-of-the-west that I'd bother to contact her about it.  That's just as nuts, IMO.

Tierrainney

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #79 on: October 29, 2012, 12:20:59 PM »
Well, the children of the Dear Abby letter better not be toddlers, or why wasn't their Mother with them to hear what the letter writter was saying.

As far as I know, No town I've lived in the US has ever had set Trick or Treat hours. I tried to find it for my current city, and the only things posted about Halloween are the parade at the community center and the Downtown business trick or treat that happened last Thursday.

My only problem with Halloween are people who don't seem to know that no outside lights means no candy. We don't get it a lot. But every year or two some one knocks/rings after we are done and have turned out all outside lights.

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Sharnita

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #80 on: October 29, 2012, 12:23:44 PM »
I can't imagine being so inflexible that I'd refuse to give candy to some toddlers on Halloween just because they rang my bell when we were having dinner.  I mean, seriously?  That's just all kinds of rigid.  Life is too short, KWIM?

I also can't imagine being so upset by my toddlers not receiving candy on Halloween from the rigid-witch-of-the-west that I'd bother to contact her about it.  That's just as nuts, IMO.

Once again, I don't think the call came because the kids didn't get candy.  I think it was possible they were scared to go anywhere else after getting in trouble with the LW for fear that other people might scold them too.  I absolutely wouldn't care if they didn't get candy at her house but I could see how that might be the end of their trick or treating, at least for that year and I could actually see wanting to call about that.  I don't think I would, mostly because it is pointless to try to explain to somebody like that how the potential impact of what they have done/said but I can see this having far more impact then "no candy" from that house.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #81 on: October 29, 2012, 01:10:05 PM »
Having re-read the letter it sounds to me that she planned her dinner so she would be done before the trick or treaters would normally have been expected. How would she know what time to be able to plan dinner if there were not set hours? If it were "open season" all day, there really would be no time to she could plan for an uninterrupted dinner.
  Her statements that she "wanted to teach them that they shouldn't overextend the holiday and disrupt other people's lives. "  and that she "sitting down for an early dinner that was planned for 5 p.m. so we wouldn't be disturbed by trick-or-treaters" leads me to believe that there are established hours and the kids violated them.

Where I live, Houston, there are no set hours for ToT. But no, it's not "open season" all day long. It's dusk to about 8:30 with stragglers till 9. And this is what it has been since I was a kid in the 60s.

Everyone eats dinner -- even the kids -- and THEN the ToTing begins. Dusk here is around 630 and that's pretty much when we get our earliest customers.

Now, I realize that different cities/communites have different norms and expectations but I can't imagine that any place has "open season" all day.
snip

I'm in Houston as well and had always thought of the hours being exactly as you stated and never heard of set hours.

I was suprised a few years ago that our neighborhood Mom's group planned for the members to take their kids out starting at 5 "so that they'd be done before dusk".   The Mom's group was mostly comprised of mom's of toddlers.  I mentioned to one of the organizers that a lot of families wouldn't even be home from work yet to start giving out candy.  In our new neighborhood, I've noticed something similar. Parent's with toddlers seem to start out early and finish up before dark, and then there is a second wave starting around 6:30 of kids who come to the doors by themselves (or in packs) but the parents are walking along the sidewalk.  And around 7:30 the older kids come through till around 8:30 or 9. 

Giggity

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #82 on: October 29, 2012, 01:19:29 PM »
My town not only sets hours for TOT--from 5 to 8 pm, but this year, for reasons I can't fathom, they have changed the day. Official TOT will take place on Tuesday, the 30th, instead of Wednesday, the 31st. One place where I lived as a kid did this as well. I've no idea why. One of the neighboring towns has done the same. Makes absolutely no sense. Last year, TOT was on the 31st.

Halloween is October 31. Since when did the date become negotiable?
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Jones

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #83 on: October 29, 2012, 01:19:45 PM »
I poked around locally to see if there are "official hours". The Mayor's Walk (costume parade in midtown) is at 4, so TorTing can start after that.


Four o'clock....seriously there's barely any time to get the kids into their costumes after school, and that's if the "fun parent" is off work by four....sigh.

BarensMom

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #84 on: October 29, 2012, 01:24:22 PM »
At 5p.m., most people aren't off work yet, much less sitting down to dinner.  I know that I certainly wouldn't be ready for TOT'ers by then.  I think the kids were overenthusiastic and the mother sent them TOT rather than deal with them.  LW shouldn't have answered the door, and the mother shouldn't have called to berate the LW.

Knitterly

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #85 on: October 29, 2012, 01:26:17 PM »
Likewise, I poked around my city's website to see if there are set hours.  There are not.  But we did get a flyer in the mail letting us know that students from the local high school would be coming around to collect donations of non-perishable food for the city food bank.  The hours on the flyer are 5pm-9pm.

I agree with all others who say that if you're not ready for TOT-ers, just don't answer the door.

Sharnita

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #86 on: October 29, 2012, 01:47:31 PM »
My town not only sets hours for TOT--from 5 to 8 pm, but this year, for reasons I can't fathom, they have changed the day. Official TOT will take place on Tuesday, the 30th, instead of Wednesday, the 31st. One place where I lived as a kid did this as well. I've no idea why. One of the neighboring towns has done the same. Makes absolutely no sense. Last year, TOT was on the 31st.

Halloween is October 31. Since when did the date become negotiable?

Well, the is MLK's real birthday and then the day we officially recognize him.  And then the scheduling of Presidents' Day which moved away from the recognition of the actual birth dates of specific presidents. And a bunch of other holidays we recognize on Monday so that it can be a long weekend. I don't think the idea of rescheduling the observation of a holiday is all that out there.

O'Dell

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #87 on: October 29, 2012, 01:59:51 PM »
My town not only sets hours for TOT--from 5 to 8 pm, but this year, for reasons I can't fathom, they have changed the day. Official TOT will take place on Tuesday, the 30th, instead of Wednesday, the 31st. One place where I lived as a kid did this as well. I've no idea why. One of the neighboring towns has done the same. Makes absolutely no sense. Last year, TOT was on the 31st.

Halloween is October 31. Since when did the date become negotiable?

I've heard of communities switching the day if Oct. 31 falls on a Sunday, but not for other dates. I did live in one community that was originally founded by a group of Brethren and the university that they had founded there didn't have classes on Wednesday due to some Brethren custom. Maybe something like that?

ETA: Heh...I googled ToT in my area out of curiosity and it's 6-8pm in my city. Who knew?! :D Some communities around here start at 5pm and 5:30pm.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2012, 02:02:50 PM by O'Dell »
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violinp

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #88 on: October 29, 2012, 07:19:36 PM »
My town not only sets hours for TOT--from 5 to 8 pm, but this year, for reasons I can't fathom, they have changed the day. Official TOT will take place on Tuesday, the 30th, instead of Wednesday, the 31st. One place where I lived as a kid did this as well. I've no idea why. One of the neighboring towns has done the same. Makes absolutely no sense. Last year, TOT was on the 31st.

Halloween is October 31. Since when did the date become negotiable?

Lots of cities move it it's on a Sunday.
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jedikaiti

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Re: Dear Abby on Trick-or-Treating
« Reply #89 on: October 29, 2012, 11:02:13 PM »
Having re-read the letter it sounds to me that she planned her dinner so she would be done before the trick or treaters would normally have been expected. How would she know what time to be able to plan dinner if there were not set hours? If it were "open season" all day, there really would be no time to she could plan for an uninterrupted dinner.
  Her statements that she "wanted to teach them that they shouldn't overextend the holiday and disrupt other people's lives. "  and that she "sitting down for an early dinner that was planned for 5 p.m. so we wouldn't be disturbed by trick-or-treaters" leads me to believe that there are established hours and the kids violated them.

Where I live, Houston, there are no set hours for ToT. But no, it's not "open season" all day long. It's dusk to about 8:30 with stragglers till 9. And this is what it has been since I was a kid in the 60s.

Everyone eats dinner -- even the kids -- and THEN the ToTing begins. Dusk here is around 630 and that's pretty much when we get our earliest customers.

Now, I realize that different cities/communites have different norms and expectations but I can't imagine that any place has "open season" all day.
snip

I'm in Houston as well and had always thought of the hours being exactly as you stated and never heard of set hours.

I was suprised a few years ago that our neighborhood Mom's group planned for the members to take their kids out starting at 5 "so that they'd be done before dusk".   The Mom's group was mostly comprised of mom's of toddlers.  I mentioned to one of the organizers that a lot of families wouldn't even be home from work yet to start giving out candy.  In our new neighborhood, I've noticed something similar. Parent's with toddlers seem to start out early and finish up before dark, and then there is a second wave starting around 6:30 of kids who come to the doors by themselves (or in packs) but the parents are walking along the sidewalk.  And around 7:30 the older kids come through till around 8:30 or 9.

I can see wanting to take the toddlers out that early - taking them out later could be keeping them up past their bedtime!
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