DEAR ABBY: Since Halloween is nearly here, I have a question about trick-or-treating. Last year on Halloween I was sitting down for an early dinner that was planned for 5 p.m. so we wouldn't be disturbed by trick-or-treaters.
Suddenly the doorbell rang. When I answered, I was bombarded with requests for candy from three boys who live down the street. It was still light outside.
I told them to come back later, when I wasn't eating dinner. I wanted to teach them that they shouldn't overextend the holiday and disrupt other people's lives. An hour later I received a call from the boys' mother scolding me for sending them away.
I was just trying to get a bit of peace and quiet before the festivities. Was I wrong not to give them candy and ask them to come back later? -- TREAT CHEATER IN CONCORD, CALIF.
DEAR TREAT CHEATER: I think so. The boys' mother may not have wanted them out after dark, which is why she started them on their rounds early. Halloween is the day for trick-or-treating, and part of the "treat" is seeing the children's excitement and their costumes. To have expected peace and quiet with kids in the neighborhood was unrealistic. Think back to your own childhood and, when the doorbell rings, answer it and be welcoming.