The Childfree & Treats to Trick-or-Treaters


I sure remember loving Halloween when I was a kid. I loved figuring out my costume and carving a scary pumpkin.I had no clue of the roots of this holiday, and I bet that’s the case for most kids today. Of course I loved being able to run around the neighborhood with friends, stopping at every house to add to a growing bag of candy. It was rare for a house to be dark – as in no one was home – so we would not ring the front door bell, and yell “trick or treat!” there.

In the past, I have been that person who answers the door and puts a handful of good candy into childrens’ bags. But now, I don’t get many trick-or-treaters where I live, but even if I am home, I confess I don’t answer the door. Am I a bah humbug of Halloween? I suppose you could say that.

Contrary to the stereotype that the childfree just don’t like kids, it’s not because I don’t want to see kids, or see them dressed up in costumes. I do – I especially appreciate seeing a creative costume and giving kudos to the kids who came up with them.

What I have a tough time condoning is participating in kids getting gobs of candy. According to a 2011 TIME article, “Now that’s Creepy: Americans Will Blow 7 Billion On Halloween” the National Retail Federation indicates that of the almost 7 billion dollars that will be spent for Halloween, 2 billion of it will be on candy. What do you think that number is in 2018? 2.6 billion.

And there is more recent talk about how kids are starting to agree that they eat too much candy around this holiday. What would they like instead? A gift  – like a video game.  So they want Halloween to become more of a gift giving holiday? Sounds like wanting  Christmas #2 – or a “Creepy Christmas” to me!  I won’t be in on that either.

To the childfree out there, how do you do Halloween when it comes to the trick-or-treaters and why?

Updated from 2018 post

14 thoughts on “The Childfree & Treats to Trick-or-Treaters

  1. We have a lot of kids in our neighborhood. We leave the house dark, but kids do still ring the doorbell. It drives the dogs crazy. So we’ve made it our tradition to spend the evening in the basement where we have dinner, watch TV and hang out with our dogs. So we’ll be down here until about 9:00. By then it’s usually safe to resume the evening’s routine. Happy Halloween (from my basement)!

  2. In my apartment building (a co-op with mostly elderly people), I have not had a trick-or-treater since the 1990s so it doesn’t matter much. What I have been doing in most of those years is to make sure I buy snacks I would give out to any of them I would like eating if I get no visitors.

  3. When I was a teenager my mom asked me to hand out candy for a bit. I hated it! I just couldn’t muster up the enthusiasm for kids I didn’t know. As an adult I don’t give out candy, but I’ve always lived in apartments. Kids don’t go door to door in large apartment buildings here, and right now I live in a flat in a house where my entrance is in the back yard. I really don’t think I would give out candy even if I lived in my own house. Would freak out the cats and I like sitting on the couch 😉

  4. I like seeing the kids dressed up and don’t mind handing out candy. However, we only get a handful of kids. I think a lot of parents (at least from what I hear from some) is that they take their kids to a trunk or treat (like we do at the university) or to a church or group event, more so than going door to door. Laura – the idea of gifts on Halloween seems ridiculous and greedy to me. Another peeve of mine is dressing your 6 mos old in an extravagant costume, what’s the point? It seems that so many parents have their identity wrapped up in their kids and in trying to be the “perfect” parent, making every moment and holiday super special.

  5. My wife and I keep the outside light off, because we don’t give things out to trick-or-treaters. There are only a few kids in the neighborhood, and we don’t like people coming to the door around dinner time.

    But, we have an annual tradition of carving jack-o-lanterns while watching a Harry Potter movie, so I think the kids might be getting mixed messages when they see our lit pumpkins out front. We’re not anti-Halloween, we’re just anti-visitors….

  6. We live in a subdivision with very few kids. the ones that were 5-6 when I moved in have finished grad school and are off living their lives. Because we have so few kids, I do not buy candy to give out. We would eat it, LOL. I drag my coin jar, a 5 gallon pickle jar we drop our coins into at the end of the day, by the front door and let any kids that show up grab a handful out the mouth of the jar.

    I have no idea what that costs us and don’t care. Most years like 2012, we have no trick or treaters.

  7. A bit after the fact. Irony of ironies – in our suburban location most kids don’t trick or treat any more and instead go to organized events or block parties – at most, the houses in a block party area may have trick or treaters. Meanwhile in our old hood in the “more pets than kids” City it is still alive and well. Go figure …

  8. As you said in your post, when you were a kid you didn’t understand the origin of it. Now that I’m aware of the origin, I don’t participate. Generally my husband or I will put a polite and hopefully clever sign on our door. We don’t want to waste the kids’ time by having to ring our bell or knock. If we’re able to, we will make Halloween a date night. That way we’re not home hiding, so to speak.

  9. Great post! We do get a TON of trick-or-treaters where we live and our dogs are the worst when it comes to people knocking on our door. It doesn’t help that one of our pups is pretty scared of kids. We put a polite sign on the door requesting not to be disturbed and then we sneak out for dinner 🙂 This way, the dogs are content when we’re gone and we don’t have to hide.

    1. Ha! Living in SF in a multi-unit building we don’t get T-or-T’ers these days. However, we seeing more babies in the building, so in the future, I predict they will be at my door! TBA what we will do 😉

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