I still haven’t really decided where I fall on this whole Halloween situation. Growing up, we were a “turn off the lights and hide in the basement” family. As a newly married adult, we just treated like any other night — no handing out candy, but no picketing the neighborhood with “Halloween is Evil” signs either. As a Children’s Ministry Director, I’ve decided to size the opportunity Halloween provides to reach out to those in my neighborhood (read all about that in this Halloween Block Party post).
Now, as a parent, I’m faced with a whole new challenge. With my oldest only two years old, it hasn’t been an issue yet, but I’m sure the costume question will be coming soon. I love fall and I don’t want to forbid all the celebrating that goes with Autumn just because it might also be associated with Halloween, so we’ve chosen a few things to embrace with caution.
Pumpkin carving is one of those things. There is just something about a pumpkin that makes me so happy! Maybe it’s the orange color (isn’t orange the color of family ministry these days?). Maybe it’s the giant size of the vegetable. Maybe it’s the fact that you can make a VERY TASTY pie out of the pumpkin. Whatever it is, I can’t help filling the house with pumpkins as soon as September hits (check out our pumpkin painting post over at 3 Boys and a Dog blog).
We grabbed a couple pumpkins on our Family trip to Port Farms the other day and last night, we decided to carve them up a bit! Of course, I had to browse Pinterest first to find some new and creative way to carve a pumpkin (sigh). Carving with cookie cutters and a mallet was a popular choice, so we decided to do that with my daughter’s pumpkin. Pinterest-fail. Apparently, these people are carving a pumpkin that is somehow flat or they are using razor-sharp cookie cutters. Either way, the whole approach certainly didn’t work for us. We ended up using the cookie cutter to trace a star onto the pumpkin and cutting it out with a knife. For my son’s pumpkin, a traditional smiley face was in order.
We had so much fun that I had my husband to run up to Kmart so I could carve a pumpkin for myself. For my pumpkin, I did use a Pinterest technique with success! You can see an example over at Better Homes and Gardens. Basically, you take a drill and put holes all over the pumpkin (I used a 3/4 inch I think). Fun! Fun!
Take a look at our creations!
Taking it a Step Further
If your kids are a little older, you can use the pumpkin as an object lesson (check out lesson plans here and here), explaining how Christ cleans out our life and gives us a light to shine for others. We also enjoy the The Pumpkin Patch Parable book. Zondervan just came out with a new book called P is for Pumpkin that also looks promising.
Check out these books to make pumpkin carving even more meaningful!
What About You?
What Fall traditions do you participate in? Where do you fall in the whole Halloween debate?