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Your guide to Halloween trick-or-treating etiquette

The ghosts and firemen, princesses and zombies are off to trick-or-treat and super eager to collect as much candy as possible. How can you ensure they’ll get a good haul? And how can you make your house a popular stop? Some proper Halloween etiquette could help.

For trick-or-treaters…

1. Be polite. Remember, the law doesn’t require people to give out candy on Halloween. Your neighbors and friends are doing it because it’s fun and they want to see everyone have a nice time. A little “thank you” before grabbing a handful of candy goes a long way. Who knows — maybe they’ll even treat you to another piece!

2. But don’t be greedy. Trick-or-treating works only if everyone plays fair! If someone has left a bowl of candy on their doorstep, be nice and take only one or two pieces so other kids will have some to find. And if you’re ever offered candy you don’t like, take some anyway. You can always sell it — yes, for money! — to a buyback program for a good cause.

3. Show off your costume! Dressing up is half the fun. If you’re asked who you’re dressed as, go ahead and say! Even if you’re the 12th Stormtrooper or Wonder Woman they’ve seen that night, if they’re asking, they want to hear.

4. Be respectful. It’s one thing to make a beeline for the door to get your candy. It’s another to traipse across the lawn and knock over the flower pots in your quest to get there first. You don’t have to be dressed as a Jedi to follow the path (or driveway) to the front door.

And if you’re giving out candy…

5. Be a good neighbor. You might be tempted to be the Halloween hero and give out full-size candy bars but spare a thought for your neighbors giving out the traditional mini versions. The candy is called “fun size” for a reason. And come on — when else but Halloween are you going to get a Krackel or Mary Jane?

6. Don’t be too scary. If you know there are a lot of young children in your neighborhood, consider toning down the horror factor in your decorations. Popping out of a coffin as a group of 5-year-olds approach could cause a lot of tears.

7. Be accommodating. Try offering both allergen-free treats and regular candy. You’ll make more trick-or-treaters happy that way — and their parents will appreciate it.

8. Send the right signal. If you’re done giving out candy, turn off the lights. And lower the TV. Don’t invite tricks if you have no treats! (Conversely, kids: If you don’t see the light on, don’t ring the doorbell. The person inside may already be asleep — or just avoiding candy duty.)

CNN

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