Author Topic: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions  (Read 6602 times)

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anonever13

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Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
« on: November 01, 2012, 09:25:18 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. 

MorgnsGrl

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Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2012, 09:57:15 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.

KenveeB

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Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2012, 10:53:23 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.

Enkidu

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Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2012, 12:13:41 AM »
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?

Rohanna

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Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2012, 12:29:24 AM »
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 :)
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RingTailedLemur

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Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2012, 07:29:05 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

Sharnita

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Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2012, 08:17:14 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.

shivering

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Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2012, 12:30:28 PM »
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!

Acadianna

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Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2012, 08:23:58 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.

rose red

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Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2012, 08:51:31 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

Surianne

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Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2012, 08:37:34 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  :)

25wishes

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Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2012, 01:29:02 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.

yokozbornak

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Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2012, 01:33:25 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!

SamiHami

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Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2012, 03:37:11 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!  :)

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mj

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Re: Misunderstanding Holiday Traditions
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2012, 03:45:40 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.