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This was my first year haunting in my new house, we had about 70 TOT's, and I was shocked that at least HALF came in absolutely no costume whatsoever. They used their backpacks as bags. They were older kids, maybe 12 and up. A couple put some makeup on their faces at least but there were so many that didn't do anything. And it was perfect weather, dry and not too cold, so it's not like their costumes were covered up by outerwear. I was pretty shocked. The neighborhoods get a little sketchy just a couple blocks away from us on the one side so I think that maybe a lot of the un-costumed couldn't afford it, poor things. I gave the same amount of candy to everyone of course and let me also say that 100% of the TOT's, costumed or not, said THANK YOU or wished me a HAPPY HALLOWEEN in return!

What's your costume/no costume ratio like in your area?
 

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awwww! Maybe they just couldn't afford costumes! How sad! I was actually think about this last night - like ok there is a charity that donates used prom dresses to girls who can't afford one - maybe there should be a Halloween charity that donates costumes to kids who can't have one?


All costumes - except for one baby! Which I can't understand - that is the best time to dress up your kid because you can pick whatever you want and they can't say no! haha

HexMe - maybe next year you could give away some masks or something costumey as treats? They might be appreciated.
 

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Every treatee was costumed and a lot of their parents were too.
Loved the group of girls done up as candy treats. They each wore sandwich boards with the treat packaging on the front and the nutritional info on the back.
I guess as long as you're wearing it, not eating i, it's zero calories!
 

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We had a bunch of no costumed kids using backpacks. I would guess the parents couldn't afford or wouldn't buy costumes.

We got a little guy with no costume and a knit cap and a sign that said "Will Work for Food." He came through twice, and since there was only one other guy on our street giving candy, and the rest of my DINK (double income no kids) coward neighbors wouldn't give out candy if forced at gunpoint, you know we loaded him up on candy.
 

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Several kids come through each year without costumes, they're teenagers and always ask how many to take and wish a Happy Halloween. The only reason I gave them candy this year was because they mentioned how much they've enjoyed watching the display grow each year ;)
 

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Out of the just under 100 we had, I would say that 25 were not costumed. And only 50 percent trick or treat or happy Halloween, and 60 thank you or some acknowledgement. Fun night but I remember when I was a ToT that I don't think there was a single non-costumed kid and lots of those were homemade....
 

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Discussion Starter #10
We had a bunch of no costumed kids using backpacks. I would guess the parents couldn't afford or wouldn't buy costumes.

We got a little guy with no costume and a knit cap and a sign that said "Will Work for Food." He came through twice, and since there was only one other guy on our street giving candy, and the rest of my DINK (double income no kids) coward neighbors wouldn't give out candy if forced at gunpoint, you know we loaded him up on candy.
My husband and I are DINK's too...but we're the best house on the block! We go all out because we can and we love kids. Your neighbors are giving us DINK's a bad rap!
 

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I don't even care if the kids wear costumes or not. I just appreciate the fact that I get Trick or Treaters. I don't make lame jokes to the teens about their age either. They are actually pretty entertaining sometimes. They are out to have fun just like the little kids. They have enough a-hole adults in their lives already. Sad its all over.
 

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My husband and I are DINK's too...but we're the best house on the block! We go all out because we can and we love kids. Your neighbors are giving us DINK's a bad rap!
Second that HexMe. My wife and I are DINKs as well and we had the best house in our neighborhood too. Us DINKs got a standard to uphold. Oh and any day I get to act like a pirate is fine too.
 

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we always have a handful that are not costumed and/or have the backpacks. I don't pass judgment and give candy to all. None of us know their story.

This topic actually gives me a chance to share a story that happened to me on the 30th. The day of our TOT. I had to run into Dollar Tree for last minute body parts. As I was grabbing a couple hands I saw a boy looking at those cheap masks with the elastic bands. They also had some of the plastic cleavers and swords, knives, etc. and hanging beside them were a few of those knit gloves that had the monster and skeleton designs screened on them. This kid, he had one of the masks in his hand and was searching through the gloves and was trying to hold on to one of the knives. I went about my way of grabbing my last minute supplies and headed up to the register. The little boy was ahead of me and had all 3 items. When he went to pay, can you guess where this is going?, he didn't have enough money. He told the cashier his Mom only gave him "this much", which was a dollar bill and some change. Basically it was enough to cover one item. I told the cashier to just ring it with my stuff. Told the kid to keep his money and the cashier put it all in a bag for him. The boy couldn't have been more than 10 if that. This kid was estatic that he got his full "costume". It wasn't much, but to him I'm sure he was going to be the scariest monster on his block. I told the cashier, who thought what I did was just the greatest thing, that I can't believe this kid couldn't be given more than a buck and some change. Especially when I walked out and saw that the Mom was parked beside me talking on her phone and smoking a cigarette. The kid was sitting in the front seat tearing his stuff out of the bag with the biggest smile. Mom wasn't even paying attention.

What I did was no big deal. But what it made me realize is that it may not be the kids not wanting to put forth effort, but the parents who just don't care if their kids have a costume or not or just may not have the money to buy one or the creativity to make something. Just something to always remember.
 

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This was my first year haunting in my new house, we had about 70 TOT's, and I was shocked that at least HALF came in absolutely no costume whatsoever. They used their backpacks as bags. They were older kids, maybe 12 and up. A couple put some makeup on their faces at least but there were so many that didn't do anything. And it was perfect weather, dry and not too cold, so it's not like their costumes were covered up by outerwear. I was pretty shocked. The neighborhoods get a little sketchy just a couple blocks away from us on the one side so I think that maybe a lot of the un-costumed couldn't afford it, poor things. I gave the same amount of candy to everyone of course and let me also say that 100% of the TOT's, costumed or not, said THANK YOU or wished me a HAPPY HALLOWEEN in return!

What's your costume/no costume ratio like in your area?
I live in the city, near some sketchy areas, and had the same thing. No costumes and backpacks. They were very friendly and thankful though.
 

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Oh, thank you for doing that Shadow...you made his Halloween for sure! I can envision a certain type of, ohhhh let's just say "parent", when their child asks them to buy this or that Halloween costume or mask and said "parent" doesn't bother looking up from their $$$mart phone while mumbling, "You don't need one. Your brother goes out every year without one and gets stuff." This type of parent doesn't realize it's not about the candy, it's about the ritual of dressing up, of pretending to be someone else, and running around in the dark collecting candy is the icing on the make-believe cake.

I think maybe next year I WILL stock up on some masks or costume accessories (great idea!) and give them out to anyone who's interested. I have a feeling at least SOME of my non-costumed TOT's belong to parents I just described. It's true that we don't know what everybody's got going on in their lives, I'll give candy to everyone as long as I've got it. And things that will never cross my lips are: "Where's your costume?" and "Aren't you too old for this?"
 

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I'd say 10% of our kids were backpacks/pillowcases, throwing clothes on at the last minute TOT's.

One group of teenagers sat and took picture after picture before coming up with their backpacks and pillow cases. They weren't really dressed up at all. They said how much they loved the yard. We told them we'd love to have them come back next year because you're never too old to dress up for free candy.

It didn't register with the wife and I until we were in bed that the backpacks and pillow cases were probably because they couldn't afford anything else.
 

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We had some great home made costumes. We had one little girl dressed as the Mr. Tickle Mr. Men character - her costume was just a big piece of construction paper that she drew on and hung over her shoulders with yarn, but she made it herself and she was beaming. :)

We only had one kid with no costume but he tried to hide behind his gigantic pillow case, so we thought that was kinda funny. I think we were probably 60% pillowcases. We had a few kids who seemed to have mom or dad waiting on the street with a backpack for transferring the candy to. I wish I had that kinda infrastructure in place when I was 6. ;)
 

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Most of our ToT's had costumes. I had about a thousand (much exaggeration) Elsas, TMNT up the yin yang, Cheerleaders, SWAT and Army men, but the best was two Ommpah Loompahs. They were awesome. I only had a couple without costumes. Even the few students I teach who stopped by wore costumes and they are teenagers.
 
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I think sometimes the older kids want to pretend they're cool, and therefore they don't do costumes...yet it's sweet, because obviously they don't really want to be all grown up yet, I mean they ARE still out ToTing. :)

I think it's this middle-of-the-road age-wise group that you'll most likely see not dressed up...as the OP mentioned, the over-12s. They can't give up ToTing (yay!!) so they have to at least try to pretend to their friends that they're being "cool" about it by not wearing a costume.

More than half, though, that's a lot...

I am so lucky in my neighborhood. The kids are SO SWEET and so polite and even the adults dress up. It really can't get any more rewarding than opening a door in my neighborhood to a kid going "trick or treat!" enthusiastically, remembering "please" and "thank you" (also with enthusiasm) and saying "See you next year!" (Well, that's what my kids did, anyway, LOL. But it was the same for any other kids we saw going to anyone else's door.)
 

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All our visitors had costumes, although a few were somewhat debatable- two kids wore their sports uniforms (I guess you could call it a costume for the evening), one high school girl wore her cheerleader outfit, and her friend had on a nano-skirt with a tight crop top. They told DH he was the first house they visited and he was the "winner"...poor guy wasn't sure what he won! Aside from that, everyone else was costumed. One boy- early teen- had obviously thrown his together at the last minute, but explained that he didn't want to miss the house this year. That really was special.
 
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