1. First and foremost, if you're going to be home, give out candy

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If you are home and not at a party or trick-or-treating with your own children, just do it. Don't be a Halloween Grinch. It's a few hours of your time and it's for children. Geez. If you absolutely cannot be disturbed, put up an apologetic sign and/or a bowl of candy. Don't be a d--k about it.

2. Decorate your house, or at the very least signify that you are taking trick-or-treaters

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You don't have to be this guy, but you should definitely put up some kind of décor or signal that you are giving out candy. Or else you'll get a group of kids staring awkwardly at your house for 30 seconds, wondering if they should come knocking. Then you have to open the door and yell out that you are indeed giving out candy, which means it ruins the whole "trick or treat!" announcement and the kids will just kind of mumble it as they walk up to your doorstep and it's uncomfortable for everyone.

3. Do not give out toothbrushes

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Fine, we know kids should be taking care of their teeth. But c'mon. It's Halloween. You are the worst kind of person on Oct. 31 if you are smugly handing out toothbrushes. And it's never the good toothbrushes, either! If they were the nice ones, the parents would at least appreciate them because now it saves them a trip to CVS to buy more toothbrushes. But the toothbrushes people hand out on Halloween are almost always this variety:

Blue toothbrush


What are we supposed to do with that?!

4. If you do not want to give out candy, give out treats

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Personally, we could eat caramel apples every day, all day. So when we got those in our pillowcases when we were kids, we did not complain one bit, even though it was technically fruit. The point is that if you don't feel like giving out candy, at least make your offering an actual treat. Homemade fudge, fun little toys, etc. It doesn't have to be candy, but it does have to be a treat. And a high-five is not considered a treat unless said hand is covered in Trader Joe's Cookie Butter for us to eat off our palm later. That was gross, sorry.

5. Be smart about putting out that bowl of candy

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"Just take one" signs are like the "employees must wash hands before returning to work" signs in fast food bathrooms. You know everyone should be abiding by it, but not everyone does. And unless you refill the bowl throughout the night, the candy will be gone in 25 minutes.

6. No black licorice

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Why would someone be so evil?!

7. No raisins

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That is NOT CANDY.

8. Don't give out pennies

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You are the only house that's doing it so, no, it's not "adding up" for the kids. If you're going to give out money, give out dolla dolla bills, y'all.

9. Don't be stingy with the candy

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One single Tootsie Roll? How dare you? 

10. Acknowledge the costumes

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Just a simple, "oh, what a beautiful Elsa!" is good enough. Remember how excited you were to dress up as Rainbow Brite for Halloween? That's what Frozen is like for these little girls, so compliment the young princesses. Don't just dump the candy in their bags and slam the door.

11. Don't let your toddler hand out all the candy


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Sure, it's really cute and you want your child to be involved with the festivities, but at least help him speed it along or else you're going to have a line snaked down your driveway of overly-excited and anxious kids. That can become a nightmare very quickly. Those chubby little fingers are taking forrrreverrrr to grab onto the Snickers bars, so just help keep things movin'!

12. No generic candy

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If it's in a plain orange or black wrapper, keep it away from your bowl. Buy the name brand for the love of all that is sweet and sugary in this world.

13. If you only have Almond Joy or Mounds bars left from your variety pack…

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…just turn your lights off and consider your candy stockpile gone. Nobody wants that s--t. It's literally worse than giving out nothing to get one of those. 

14. Get into the Halloween spirit, if you can

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We can still remember the time when we were eight years old and we went up to a house that had a scary looking dummy sitting in a chair holding a bowl of candy in the driveway. When we tried to take two pieces, the dummy sprang to life and scared the crap out of us. It was awesome. Make the night memorable for the kids; it happens only once a year, remember? 

15. Give away full-sized candy bars

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You will be a neighborhood hero and legend for the rest of time.

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