10/08/2013 03:49 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

8 Halloween Don'ts We Didn't Think We Had To Say In The First Place (PHOTOS)

Halloween is a straight-forward holiday for adults. If you're not hosting a party, your participation is easy: Just have candy ready for trick-or-treaters. Or not. Maybe put a few pumpkins on your stoop. However, many people have been getting it all wrong. We didn't think we'd have to go through a list of "do's" and "don'ts," but it's gotten to the point where a PSA is needed. You may be saying "no" to this, but clearly your droopy inflatable lawn ornament is saying "yes."

Don't just leave the bowl of candy out.
The problem here is two-fold: It's usually bad candy (which tends to tick off trick-or-treaters) and it tends to be a signal that you're not home. By midnight, your house has been TP'd.

Don't decorate with phallic ghosts.
phallic ghosts
Photo via Etsy
Ghosts can be tricky. Mess too much with the classic silhouette (or ignore a glaringly obvious shape) and suddenly you're no longer welcome at the block party.

Don't go crazy with gross recipes.

In the "Room Parent" arms race, it's easy to get caught up in finding ways to show up the other PTA members with your repressed creativity. But if you find yourself gleefully dipping skewered marshmallows in an attempt to make convincing "earwax," you've gone too far.

Don't go "off label" with your treats.
Toothbrush Among the Candy Corn 82/100
Halloween IS candy. Yeah, it would be great if apples and toothbrushes were as well-received as a bag of Skittles, but we don't live in that dimension. Don't be the parent that bums everyone out with suggesting a "healthy snack" party instead of trick-or-treating. Don't hand out pennies, toothbrushes or anything that could also function as a projectile. Because they will be used as a projectile. At your house.

Don't let someone talk you into inflatable decorations.
halloween inflatable
Image via Christmas Central
Halloween is one of the easiest holidays for decorating. You can put a lone pumpkin in your yard and join in the fun. Yet some people fall victim, without fail, to inflatable monstrosities. Like an inflatable tree with inflatable pumpkins. It's not necessary. It's redundant. And it'll most likely get ruined well before October 31st, because putting an inflatable pumpkin in your yard is like putting a giant sign that says "Ruin my stuff!" to all teenagers within a 1-mile radius.

Don't go out too early.
Daytime Halloween House
We get it. Little kids shouldn't be out too late, and that's fine. But let people get situated at home first. There's nothing worse than being surprised by adorable baby Madisyn in her 'My Little Pony' costume while you're just trying to get your keys in the door and visibly seething over a perceived slight from the workday. There's no candy in this work tote.

Don't go trick-or-treating unless you're an actual kid.
halloween donts
12 or 13 is the cut-off. Just go to Walgreen's on November 1st for your candy binge fix, like the rest of us.

Don't leave your porch light on unless you have candy.
If the light is on, you are agreeing to the social contract of giving out candy. Don't waste the kids' time -- it's their most productive day of the year.

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