Yes I know HALLOWEEN isn't until tomorrow but due to time differences etc I thought I'd get in a little early - besides which, the weather in most parts of the UK is set to be awful tomorrow so I expect we may well have lots of 'trick or treat(ers)' this evening. So here are some guidelines that Hubby and I (along with a little help from Tim Dowling of the Guardian newspaper) have found useful over the years.
1. Don't pretend to be out, sitting in the dark doesn't work - they KNOW your in, I don't know how but they do. If you don't wish to keep answering the door to hordes of children, go out.
2. If you do decide to stay in - join in. We always find a basket of sweets is a must. NO fruit (or anything else that can be considered even remotely healthy) and Tim Suggests "nothing too desirable, you don't want word of your exceptional generosity to get round".
3. It really doesn't do any good to suggest that 15 might be a touch too old to go about begging for a fun-size Mars bar and besides which they are probably only doing so because they've had one Fentimans' lemonade (see my PREVIOUS POST) too many.
4. Kids love Halloween, they've seen ET, they've heard about the sweets so putting them off trick or treating is virtually impossible. You'll just have to grit your teeth and join in. Tim suggests if need be "Dress your children in costumes that are uncomfortable and hard to walk in and after half an hour, consult your watch and remind them of something they're missing on the television".
5. If, as an adult, you are invited to a Halloween party remember that as far as costumes go - anything goes - and here in the UK, where the choice of costume isn't as varied as it is in the US, a bed sheet over the head will probably do, as will a set of vampire teeth or even a mask. However if your first instinct is to say no, you are probably best sticking with this.
6. You can probably take it that if you haven't seen more than two of the little darlings by 7.30/8.00 you can start eating the sweets. LIKEWISE you can probably consider Halloween officially over for another year if you've (A) eaten the entire bag of fun-sized goodies or (B) the time is now 9 pm.