Costumes: Think about the setting
For many, Halloween is an opportunity to be scantily clad, or make a political statement, or make a commentary on pop culture. From pregnant nuns to "sexy" military personnel, things can get non-PC very quickly. While I am all for free expression, it is important to think about the setting you will be in and allow that to inform your costume choice. Going to a club for the night? Then it is not a problem to bring out your sexy costume (although I would plead for a level of decorum and modesty, regardless of where you are). Heading to a party with young kids? It may be best to leave your goriest costume at home and opt for something more family-friendly.
If you want to make a political statement or wear a costume that isn't exactly kosher, be prepared for some people not to be too pleased. As fun as it may be, or as good of an idea as you may believe it is, erring on the side of caution is usually the best way to go.
Haunted places: keep your hands to yourself, be respectful of othersIf you're visiting a haunted house, hayride, corn maze, etc there are some rules of thumb to follow. Firstly, don't touch anyone: performer or patron. Secondly, avoid scaring others not in your group (and even if they are part of your party, don't take too many liberties). It can be fun to play a trick on others, but it isn't your job. Safety is the number one concern, so do not interfere with the spooky fun. Be respectful of others and realize that not everyone will react to a fright the same way you will!
Trick-or-treating: be generous, be safe
How I love trick-or-treating! Here are some of the main guidelines for this fun activity:
- When you're giving out candy, be generous! If a child/pre-teen/teenager comes to your door in costume, give them some candy.
- Have individually wrapped treats on hand and keep your porch light on as the universal symbol that you have candy to give out.
- If you don't want to be troubled by an ever ringing doorbell put out a bowl with a "help yourself" note.
- Be careful about trying to guess someone's costume, because if you don't get it right you may offend them. It's much better to simply ask, "Would everyone tell me about your costume?"
- When taking children trick-or-treating stay together as a group and be mindful of traffic. Depending on the neighborhood there may be differing amounts of people around and it is always wise to know exactly where your charges are.
- Advise children to take one or two pieces of candy unless otherwise invited to by the homeowner. If everyone was greedy all of the houses would run out in no time.
Mischief Night: easy to clean
Oh, mischief night. Fun to do, but such a pain in the morning. From egging to teepeeing it can get so messy so fast. Not to mention that trespassing is not acceptable or legal. If you absolutely must cause some mischief try ding-dong-ditching a friend or "ghosting" them by leaving a spooky note on their door. And when you are done, it is absolutely essential to say "mischief managed" á la Harry Potter ;)
Is there anything you would add? What are you going to be for Halloween?