We’d lived in the neighborhood for five months and I still didn’t know anyone with kids. My baby was almost one year old and I planned to make the most of Halloween.
Armed with a plastic jack-o-lantern full of good candy and a folding chair, I hoisted that baby on my hip and drug ourselves out to the end of the driveway and planted us in full sight for the crowds coming from either direction.
I waited. He fussed, uncomfortable in his costume.
They never came.
Forget the crowds. Not one trick-or-treater ever came down our short street. My little family had a lot of candy, but no new friends. How about you? Ever been disappointed when no one came? Don’t be.
Hospitality shouldn’t just happen on Halloween.
If you’ve got leftover treats and are still willing to share, not keep, then I’ve got a few hints for you on how to do over.
1. Get Outside
You don’t have to rake leaves. You can just sit on the porch or in the drive or throw a blanket out on the lawn and lie down. You’re more likely to see your neighbors if you spend time outdoors. Smile and wave as walkers or cyclists or drivers go by. Do this several times and you will notice regulars.
2. Take a Walk
Why is it that in many neighborhoods the only night you see families out for a walk is on Halloween? If it’s that fun, then let’s make it a habit. You may meet other walkers. You may see some people outside in their own yard. Children create conversation. Carry or bounce a ball if your child is old enough to play.
3. Reverse Trick or Treat
Carry the extra, leftover candy with you. Knock on a few doors. When they answer, give them a treat. Shy? Take a few index cards and write out an introduction to hand out along with the candy. Hi, we live in the neighborhood and had treats left over. Sign your name and address or phone number (whatever you’re willing to give out).
4. Answer Your Door
That’s right. It’s rare that a criminal comes knocking. When the doorbell rings, answer it just as you would on Halloween. (Follow safety precautions.) I’ve met kids selling school fundraiser stuff. Trust me, a candy bar or a tin of popcorn is worth the price of a new friend sometimes.
5. Invite Them In
Did you enjoy dressing up? There’s more than fun happening here with these costumes. Did you know that we let our guard down when we put that mask on? There’s some freedom there. Consider hosting a costume party even after Halloween. Murder Mystery Dinners are a bit of prep, but lots of fun.