Friday, September 17th, 2010

Halloween – Lights Out In The Neighborhood?

For most trick-or-treaters the house that has their porch light out on Halloween is not a fun thing. It’s important for children to understand the meaning of lights out, thereby, bringing about respect for the people who choose not to give out treats or celebrate the festivities.

Possible reasons people do not choose to meet Trick-or-Treaters at the door.

Not home. If the house is dark and the porch light is off, the residents are very likely not home.

Home, but not participating:Don’t see any decorations or Jack-o-Lanterns? Some people may decide for various reason to simply forgo Halloween. If the porch light is off and the house lights are dim but you can see or hear a television playing, chances are this person or family is just not going to answer the door. It is best to just go on to the next home that is welcoming Trick-or-Treaters and respect the privacy of the home owner.

The economy:  In 2009 and 2010, thousands of people have lost their jobs. People will more than likely be looking for an alternative for their children and to giving out candy. Out of your own experience, you may fully understand this and can explain to your child that the cutbacks may have dictated the amount of dark houses they may find this year.

Harvest or Fall Parties:  Over the years, people have turned to having neighborhood parties. Parents form together and have a get together for the neighboring children. This is becoming popular for a lot of reasons. Sometimes these are held in back yards, churches and some are even held at pizza shops or restaurants that host parties. These neighborhoods may have a lot of dark houses.

Religious Beliefs:  There are people who choose not to participate in Halloween at all. You may find that their porch lights are off and yet their inside lights are on. A porch light that is off is an indicator to those doing the trick or treating that particular house will not be participating. Be respectful and just move on.

Elderly:  Oftentimes elderly people just don’t have the money or the time to participate in Halloween Trick-or-Treating activities. Sometimes their supper is at 4:00 and bedtime shortly after. Considering that they may have done trick or treating for years, possibly through their children and grandchildren, they may just be tired of it too. On the other hand, some of the housing units catering to the elderly do like to participate. You will find these lights on and they are waiting for you. Some do not and their wishes need to be respected. Be sure to be respectful and thankful for what you receive in these neighborhoods.

Many neighborhoods, townships and cities normally set their own Trick-or-Treat hours. Check your local newspaper or radio station to get your times. Daylight is obviously the best time for safety. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t have their porch lights on at that time. Be prepared for that as well.

Before dusk, you can often tell houses that are participating in Trick-or-Treating by the window decorations or the pumpkins that line the walkways or porches. Being respectful at Halloween is important. Inform your children of the do’s and don’ts in order to make the night rewarding to everyone.

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Some Trick-or-Treating manners

  • Children should say Trick-or-Treat politely and just as politely say “thank you!”
  • If your children are eating some of their candy or treats while they are Trick-or-Treating, be sure that they know not to litter on streets or private property. Ask them to place their candy wrappers in their pocket or in their candy basket / pillow case / bag.

Have a wonderful and safe Halloween!

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2 Responses

September 19, 2010

Thank you for posting these reasons why some houses may be dark. I know it doesn’t seem very fun for kids if the majority of houses in a neighborhood are dark on Halloween, but you made some very good points about why this may be. I can’t believe it’s almost Halloween! I can’t wait. 🙂

September 21, 2010
Deborah Hart

If and when I ever get rich, wherever I decide to settle, I am gonna make Halloween fun again for kids of ALL ages!!! My 1st. order of business being: starting up a pumpkin farm that has a haunted house attached and lots of room for a long hayride! I am 56 yrs. old and as of a cpl. months ago, that is my new dream! Halloween has ALWAYS been my favorite holiday, but for many years now it has been a BIG LETDOWN!!!

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