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  1. #1
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    Beggar's Night Question

    I forgot I wanted to "poll" everyone. You know me, long story slightly shorter, short term memory even shorter, so...........there was a letter in a recent Dear Abby column (maybe you can find it online) where a woman (in California, I think) wrote that her neighbor's kids came to her door for trick or treat at 5:30 or something (when she was eating in preparation for handing out candy later). She sent them home and the mother got mad. Abby said she should have given them their candy. So, the original letter made it sound like there was not a set time for trick or treat, but that she just wasn't expecting anyone yet. And..........on t.v. shows, they always show kids just out at whatever hour (be back by dark or 10:00 or something) and people handing out candy for hours all evening.

    Here in Ohio, my entire life, trick or treat has ALWAYS been from 6-8 p.m. Some of the rural areas around here have it from 5:30 - 7:30. Are we the only ones who have a set trick or treat time? They publish a list of each city's in the paper. You turn your porch light on at 6 and off at 8. No one would dare show up at a neighbor's house before or after those times and demand candy. You can't just run around and knock on people's doors to get candy whenever you feel like it. (I KNOW - unless you are going to a relative's house in another neighborhood or somewhere out of the ordinary or whatver.) This was not the case in this letter. If someone showed up at my house yelling trick or treat at 5:55 p.m., I would not be obligated to give them anything or have their mother get mad at me because I turned them away.

    Do other states not have specific trick or treat times (except for the day, obviously)? Just wondering.

  2. #2
    snarking for AZE
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    we dont have a set time but you wouldnt show up at a house that didnt have it's light on
    I feel like I'm in a dream. But it can't be a dream because there are no boy dancers!

  3. #3

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    We always had a set time when I was growing up. 6-8. And where I live now there's a set time as well. Also, light on...they give candy. Light off, they don't. I don't think I could deal with not having a set time or general practice! I like order. LOL!

  4. #4
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    We don't have a set time here, I believe.

    Our porch light doesn't work, but any house with Halloween decorations is usually fair game (I have a couple of pumpkins out front and expect to hand out candy).

    I would not have turned the kids away just because I was eating dinner - if I really was busy I would have taken my decorations in/turned off the light and not answered the door. And possibly just left a bowl of candy outside.
    I think I actually did the latter last year - my husband was business travelling and from 7:30-8:30 I am putting my son to sleep - I left a bowl of candy outside.

  5. #5
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    We don't have a set time here, I believe.

    Our porch light doesn't work, but any house with Halloween decorations is usually fair game (I have a couple of pumpkins out front and expect to hand out candy).

    I would not have turned the kids away just because I was eating dinner - if I really was busy I would have taken my decorations in/turned off the light and not answered the door. And possibly just left a bowl of candy outside.
    I think I actually did the latter last year - my husband was business travelling and from 7:30-8:30 I am putting my son to sleep - I left a bowl of candy outside.

  6. #6

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    No set time here in Michigan. We always wait until it gets dark. When the porch light is on all are welcome. Once it gets a little later and the kids aren't coming any longer the porch light goes off and you are closed. I've lived in Michigan all my life and it's always been the same.
    When you change the way you look at things, everything you look at changes.

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    There has never been a set time here. And a lot of people bring very young children--toddlers and preschoolers--out pretty early so 5:30 would never catch me off guard.

  8. #8

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    Here in this part of my state, they have had set hours for at least the past 20 years or so. As stated by one community website geared toward parents:
    It’s Halloween, and it’s coming up on Wednesday, October 31. One thing parents need to be aware of, especially parents who are new to a community or new to having kids trick-or-treating, is that most area towns have specific trick-or-treat hours. So for your planning convenience, here is a list of local municipalities and their trick-or-treat hours.
    The list includes a dozen area towns, most of which have 6-8 p.m. (there are three that have 5-8 p.m. and one that is 5:30-7:30). It seems like this is something that will really vary from region to region and even within a state.
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    On the West Coast - we have never had set times. The unwritten rule has been - at dusk till 9pm and the porch light has to be on. I have other rules for my kids (no walking on lawns, say "Trick or Treat" and say "Thank you" of offered from a bowl, Take one (so many kids grab a giant handful!). They usually have a trick prepared - this year my daughter is asking if they have a piano. If they do, she will play the intro to Phantom of the Opera.

  10. #10
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    No set time. I'm surprised that most of you are saying people wait until dark. It's the complete opposite here. You might see little kids trick or treating with their parents as early as 1-2 PM, and then more after 3 when school is out. Usually by the time it gets dark, we only get a couple of older kids/teens. It's a suburb in a very safe area. All of my memories of trick or treating are in daylight as well. I guess you take the risk that people won't be home, but there must be a lot of retired folks and stay at home parents in my neighborhood.

    I like the idea of set times though... it's annoying when you know the bell can ring at any moment for pretty much the entire day.

  11. #11
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    In my area most parents work till 5 or their kids are in activities so 6 is the earliest (they have a quick dinner and get ready).

  12. #12

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    I never had a set time growing up but I think they have one here in Baton Rouge. I find that so odd. The issue here isn't that the woman didn't give the kids candy, the issue is that the kid's mother got all upset. What is wrong with her? We wonder why children these days act so damn entitled.
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  13. #13
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    i actually prefer when they come early, they are generally little. the later it gets, the more likely they are really old without much of or any costume and are possibly casing the joint.
    I feel like I'm in a dream. But it can't be a dream because there are no boy dancers!

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    On Long Island where I live, about ten years ago Halloween was on a Sunday and the weather was mild and beautiful. I had my first set of toddler trick or treaters at 11:30 AM. I had nearly 200 kids in total that year. Now I'm "lucky" if I get 20. We have no set times, and didn't in Connecticut where I grew up.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherub721 View Post
    No set time. I'm surprised that most of you are saying people wait until dark. It's the complete opposite here. You might see little kids trick or treating with their parents as early as 1-2 PM, and then more after 3 when school is out. Usually by the time it gets dark, we only get a couple of older kids/teens. It's a suburb in a very safe area. All of my memories of trick or treating are in daylight as well. I guess you take the risk that people won't be home, but there must be a lot of retired folks and stay at home parents in my neighborhood.

    I like the idea of set times though... it's annoying when you know the bell can ring at any moment for pretty much the entire day.
    That, and I always liked that everyone was out at the same time; there's a real neighborhood party feel here that I don't think we would have if trick or treat lasted all day. People set up portable fireplaces and hang out and all the kids run around in the dark--which is much more fun, I think, than running around in daylight.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    On Long Island where I live, about ten years ago Halloween was on a Sunday and the weather was mild and beautiful. I had my first set of toddler trick or treaters at 11:30 AM. I had nearly 200 kids in total that year. Now I'm "lucky" if I get 20. We have no set times, and didn't in Connecticut where I grew up.
    I would not be amused by the doorbell ringing all day. By early for toddlers and preschoolers, I meant 4:30/5:00 p.m.

  17. #17
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    I'd pass out candy from 0330 to 2359 if I'd only get trick or treaters. :
    3539 and counting.

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan1 View Post
    ... and the mother got mad...
    This is the most and part for me. No one is required by law to hand out candy on Halloween. Most people do it because they want to; some do it because they figure their houses will get egged if they don't. Unless the not-ready-yet lady was rude to the kids, there's no reason for the mother to get angry.

    We never had set times when I was growing up, but everyone just "knew." The younger kids would start around dusk (I grew up in northern BC so sun set around 6:00 at that time of year), older kids a bit later. Trick or treating usually stopped around 8:30 so that everyone could get to the town fireworks show for 9:00.

    Never heard of Trick-or-Treating in early-mid afternoon. Except at a shopping mall. Just seems wrong to me.

    That being said, though, TorT times for a neighbourhood/community seems like a really good idea. Nothing wrong with everyone having the same expectations.

  19. #19

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    We live next to a small university. Get some trick or treaters from there, sometimes asking for cans to feed the poor. However, nothing makes me madder than last year, when the first 10 or so of my 150 usual kids were college kids, I said, "Really, before the four year olds, you want to take their candy?"

  20. #20
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    6-7 in my Michigan neighborhood.

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