Whether you love Halloween or cannot wait for it to be over, it is a great night we can connect with our neighbors. What other day do we go knocking door-to-door without any awkwardness? What other day are most of the neighbors and their children running around the block at the same time? Rather than focusing on the creatures and characters of Halloween, let’s focus on how we can connect with our neighbors on Halloween. Here are four tips to get you started.
1. Walk with your child to the door.
Most of the time, parents stand on the sidewalk while they watch their children run up to the door, ring the doorbell, and yell, “Trick or treat!” Rather than just being a spectator or a photographer, take the opportunity to meet some of your neighbors you have never met by walking your child to the door. Extend a quick, friendly greeting to your neighbor as they pass out yummy treats to your child. If you have never met them, you might even briefly introduce yourself. You can even hand out a business card if you have one handy. This small introduction might open the door for an unexpected visit with they need someone to help them through a hard time.
2. Treat teenagers with the same respect as children.
When teenagers come to your door, refrain from saying, “Aren’t you too old to be trick-or-treating?” Because if teenagers are not out trick-or-treating, there are plenty of other places they could be getting into trouble on Halloween. Every holiday brings opportunities for teenagers to get into trouble—whether it is attending the wrong party or causing mischief in your neighborhood (like scaring your children while they are trick-or-treating).
Simply hand teenagers their candy or let them grab a handful for their bag. Tell them to have a safe night and that they can even come back for leftover candy at the end of the night. The important part is to make them feel welcome because Halloween is not just for children. There are plenty of teens and adults that love this holiday, too!
3. Give trick-or-treaters a special treat on-the-go.
It can be hard to connect with our neighbors on Halloween when you have to take your own children trick-or-treating. Most of us stick a large bowl on our well-lit porch with a sign that reads, “Take one, please.” But we all know that by the third or fourth group of trick-or-treaters, the bowl is already empty.
Rather than leaving a bowl on your porch, take a bowl of treats with you. Fill it with candy, glow sticks, or small containers of slime. Just make sure you have treats that all children can enjoy in your neighborhood. While you are taking your own child trick-or-treating, pass out treats to the children (and teenagers) running around the block. This might surprise some parents and give you an opportunity to meet a new neighbor.
4. Open your house to your neighbors.
If you are going to be at home handing out candy, open your house to your neighbors. I know this might require a lot of work (and some spring cleaning in the fall), but opening our houses can be a great way to connect with our neighbors on Halloween. Don’t worry. You do not have to host a Halloween party.
Perhaps, in a front room or an entry way, you can have a decorated table with a bowl full of treats and some hot chocolate with marshmallows for the parents and the trick-or-treaters. Maybe, you could have bottled waters with a fun label that wishes your neighbors a happy Halloween!
For the Halloween-lovers, have a fun craft at a table in the dining room or kitchen for children to do. The craft can be decorating small pumpkins or making toilet paper bats. For craft ideas, check out Four Fun Fall Crafts for Your Family. Just have the supplies and templates ready to go! While the children are doing their crafts, you can talk to their parents and get to know them. Just remember to have some bottled water or sodas to offer the parents.
No matter how you open your house to your neighbors, it will be a surprise! It will create a warm and inviting atmosphere in your home. And you never know which neighbor may come back for more visits.
For other ideas of how we can connect with our neighbors on Halloween, check out Halloween: A Time to Be a Good Neighbor. Don’t miss out on this awesome opportunity to make a difference in your neighborhood!