Miss Manners

Tween puts best face forward on Halloween

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dear Miss Manners:

At what age are kids too old to go trick-or-treating?

Adults enjoy putting on costumes and dressing up, but how many youngsters have a chance to attend costume parties?

My husband and I enjoy admiring cute tykes and their costumes, but have been just as accommodating to the older or larger trick-or-treaters, even those who obviously made their own costumes from cut or painted shirts and some face makeup and carrying pillowcases (without trying to second-guess their ages or whether or not they expected a large enough "haul" to fill a pillowcase).

My granddaughter said she wasn't going trick-or-treating this year, but she still wants to dress like a character she admires; so she is taking her little sister around the neighborhood.

Although the older sister is just 12, she is about five inches taller then me and a smidge taller than her mother and better developed then I ever was, so she would surely garner comments about being too old to trick-or-treat. But we don't think she is too old to also want a little fun!

Even more than she admires your attitude, Miss Manners appreciates the resourcefulness of your granddaughter. There could hardly be a better excuse for a post-tyke to dress up and go trick-or-treating than escorting a tyke or two. Etiquette hint: Let the little ones get their candy first.

Dear Miss Manners:

My family was invited to a Halloween party with an invitation that mentioned a gift registry at a local store, recommending that everyone look at it for gift ideas. It looks like a wedding registry or something for a birthday, covering everything from household goods to entertainment wants.

I would understand bringing a gift to a birthday party, anniversary party or even a dinner party, but I have never heard of bringing a gift to a Halloween costume party. Is this rude to expect a gift, or is it polite to bring a gift for the host no matter what type of party it is?

You are on that slippery slope along with your greedy friends, Miss Manners is sorry to say. Like them, you see nothing wrong with asking to be given presents; your only quibble is whether this applies to Halloween parties.

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