CU on Halloween – DO’s and DON’T’s

YUMMY candy pumpkin pic courtesy of morguefile.

YUMMY candy pumpkin pic courtesy of morguefile.

Whether you LOVE IT or HATE IT, if you have kids, getting through October without having to deal with Halloween would be a feat unparalleled in our current times.  So in order to help those of you who LOVE it enjoy it more, and those of you who are not-so-much in love with it get through it unscathed here are a few Do’s and Don’t’s – take ’em or leave ’em.

DO know the trick-or-treat schedule for your neighborhood/city/township, etc. otherwise you will be caught unaware at the last minute!

DON’T leave a large bucket of candy if you aren’t going to be home that the first set of trick-or-treaters empties leaving none for the rest of us … waste of your $$.

DO visit our local thrift stores for costumes and contribute to the “Maker” movement.

DON’T try to ruin the holiday for someone else just because you and your family don’t celebrate.

DO find other fun ways to celebrate fall if Halloween and trick-or-treating aren’t for you.

DON’T forget to carve a pumpkin and visit one of our local pumpkin patches … this holiday isn’t just about candy!

DO make your kids say THANK YOU! when they are trick-or-treating.

DON’T try to scare your trick-or-treaters … for some, just walking up your path is scary enough!

DO find out what your work-place dress up policy is … and play along … how bad can it be?… might even be fun!

DON’T try to make your kid use the same costume as last year, just because it fits.

DO make candy consumption guidelines for your kiddos clear PRIOR to trick-or-treating.

DON’T forget the glow-in-the dark sticks or reflective tape on your child’s costume. Be Safe!

DO think about weather variance when designing, building or choosing your child’s costume. Illinois weather is unpredictable at best.

DON’T be a sourpuss if you get tp’d … its usually a sign of affection… and looks kinda cool blowing in the wind (if I am not the person who has to clean it up.)

DO make it clear if you are home or not by leaving your door open, light’s on, wait on the porch etc.  We don’t want to pass you up if you WANT to give out candy, but we don’t want to wait at your door if you aren’t participating.

DON’T wear makeup or a headpiece while bobbing for apples – the trick is to push the apple all the way to the side or bottom of the bucket – either way you aren’t staying dry, so skip the mascara!

DO eat some candy corn … YA HAFTA eat some candy corn! YUMMO!

DON’T be afraid to trick-or-treat at some of your favorite local businesses … they might have some special treats in store for your kiddos!

DO check out PINTEREST for fun, new, cool and creative costume, decorating, game and snack ideas.

DON’T wait until the last minute to try the idea you saw on PINTEREST … neva-gonna-work.


HELP US OUT chambanamoms!  What are you favorite Halloween tips?

We would love to hear about them as we all prepare for the season!!


Erin (Trent) Tarr made the three-hour drive from Southern Illinois to Champaign in 1997 to attend the University of Illinois and never left.  Mother of two beautiful girls (2 & 5 years old), her passions for leadership and education have led her to start “Be the Benchmark” – a coaching/mentoring business for tween and teen girls. She also blogs about leadership and motherhood at You can often find her (with two kids in tow) at Champaign Centennial sporting events where her beloved husband of ten years, Adam, works as an Athletic Trainer.


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  1. I respectfully disagree with “DON’T leave a large bucket of candy.” In my experience, trick-or-treaters take only as many pieces as the sign placed with the candy says to. The one year I had to do this there were leftovers. My mother, who is having a harder and harder time getting around, has used the bucket strategy for several years now. For a short time she watches (unseen) through the window to enjoy the costumes and has never had a problem with anyone wiping out the candy supply. In fact, one year she witnessed a kid who wanted to be greedy get peer-pressured into behaving.

    Since the point of setting the bucket out is to share candy, I will not have not wasted my money no matter how few or many people partake. If the bucket is empty when trick-or-treaters get there, the supply simply ran out–no different than if the trick-or-treaters encountered a turned-off porch light.

    • I am so glad to hear that this strategy works for some! (Especially your mother, how sweet!) I am a little candy stingy I suppose :) hehe

      Happy Halloween! :)

  2. Wow, you must have a lot of cash. I emphatically disagree with not making your kid use a costume from a previous holiday if it fits. I keep a Halloween box of costumes, and you better believe that’s the first stop for my kids. We don’t buy trendy costumes, so the pieces can be recombined, Ex: I bought a child’s black formal dress on eBay for $10. It’s been the basis of witch, zombie, Spider Queen, and vampire costumes over the years, and if it still fit I’d send them out in it again this year. It’s the creativity that makes it work.

    I’m not sure what the maker movement is, but I’ve been sewing for many years, so I suspect I have it covered.

    Finally, be aware that having a candy bucket emptied isn’t the worst thing that can happen. One year I had the whole bowl stolen. It was plastic, but it was cute and the perfect size, and i was so mad it killed the holiday spirit that year.

    • Not a lot of cash – just a LOT of costume pieces! We have a whole closet of second hand items to choose from — they decide THAT DAY what they are wearing. :) So I think we are actually coming from the same place – I was more thinking … don’t make your toddler be piglet three years in a row :)

      And yes – you totally have the Maker movement covered.

      And WOW … that totally sucks that someone stole the BOWL! Big bummer :( … I hate it when stuff like that happens that just puts a damper on the mood. Here’s to a GREAT Halloween this year!! :)

  3. This is cute and I am a big lover of Halloween but I’m not pro vague comments like “don’t ruin it for others” if its not your holiday. What would that entail? Not participating? Making snarky comments? I’ve been the one not celebrating a certain holiday for strong personal reasons who’s been given all sorts of crap for just not wanting to take part, I respect that others don’t want to participate in whatever holidays.
    Also, I don’t know about the “don’t try to scare the kids” thing. I don’t love being scared, but in the house I grew up in we played spooky music out the windows, I dressed as a witch as a teen to answer the door, when ever the doorbell rang I flickered the porch light before opening, and my dad dressed up as a ghoul and rollerbladed the neighborhood cackling! One year we didn’t do it and kids asked us for months where the witch and the ghoul were and expressed being very disappointed – its good clean fun, very simple easy to see through gags – the kids loved it.

    • I think of ruining it for others would be the people who try to make your kids feel like bad people if they want to celebrate something that they deem unnecessary, etc. ON the other end, I would tell people to not bug non-participants of holidays either — to each his own. :)
      It sounds like your family had a great balance of intrigue, fun and games at Halloween time for the trick-or-treaters! What a fun house to grow up in and enjoy with friends and neighbors! :)

  4. DO have a special “non-food” treat on hand for kids with food allergies (if you know they’re coming to your house). Years ago when my daughter had multiple food allergies and could eat nothing that she collected trick-or-treating, my neighbor prepared a small gift bag for her (halloween board book, stickers, pencil, etc) and it is something we will NEVER forget!