Friday, October 31, 2008

Random Thoughts for "Pumpkin Day"

First off, Happy Pumpkin Day! This was the greeting on a cute card that Jodi received in the mail from her cousin Jake. I like that alternative to saying Happy Halloween. When I was little we always celebrated Halloween by dressing up in fun costumes and sharing candy, and I don’t see the harm in continuing that. But I respect Christians who want to completely avoid this holiday. It certainly does have a very dark side to it. Last night our church held a Trunk-or-Treat event, where we all parked our decorated cars in a big lot in town and passed out candy to probably around 800 kids. I loved seeing the fun costumes. A few favorites were twin Alfalfas from the Little Rascals, a basket of dirty laundry, and a boy whose wheelchair was a trashcan and he was Oscar the Grouch. But I hated the scary costumes. I don’t understand parents who enjoy dressing up kids as young as two years old in horrific, bloody outfits. And I really don’t get the desire to go to things like Trail of Terror and Carnival of Horrors that are advertised around here. Give me Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin. That’s about all I can handle! :) Anyway, what are your thoughts on Halloween?

Second, I’m hearing buzz on the ACFW loop and some blogs about NaNoWriMo, and it’s pretty fascinating to me. I think I’d like to try it down the road someday if I ever start writing novels myself. I’d love to hear comments from any of our blog readers who are participating and why. It begins tomorrow!

And finally, I think I have the cutest little Jodi Panda in the world living at my house. I was so proud of her last night when she quickly caught on and wanted to drop the pieces of candy in each trunk-or-treater’s bag herself! Have a great Pumpkin Weekend and keep praying for our country!


Karen Witemeyer said...

I'm with you, JoAnne. I go for cute over scary any time. I avoid horror movies and focus on cuddly black cats and plump, orange pumpkins instead of witches and goblins.

I have three kids, so Halloween is alsways lots of fun at our house. I try to save money by using things around the house for costumes as much as possible. This year, my 8-year-old wanted to be a waffle. He eats Eggo waffles every morning.

We cut out a giant cardboard circle, gridded it out, and painted 3-D brown shaded squares on it. We tied it around his neck with a ribbon and dangled an empty syrup bottle through the ribbon at the top. Then for his trick-or-treat bag, we took one of the jumbo waffle boxes we had in the garage from feeding him waffles every morning, and my husband bent in the flaps and taped a handle on it. That way in case anyone couldn’t guess, they’d be able to tell what he was by the box.

We already had one trunk-or-treat at church, and his costume was a hit. People we didn’t even know asked to take pictures with him. It was a blast and only cost about $4 for the paint and ribbon.

Fun over fear, I say.

Becky said...

That's clever, Karen. I love to see parents and kids working together to be creative about a costume instead of buying some prefab thing. That's what the dress-up fun should be all about. I must have seen 20 Hannah Montana last year. Where's the creativity in that?

And I'm with you, JoAnne. I don't like to celebrate death. I celebrate harvest time with pumpkins, corn stalks, and gourds, and I welcome in the cool weather with bonfire parties and such.

Vickie McDonough said...

What a cute and cuddly little "bear"!

We always avoided the scary costumes. I have four boys, and they passed costumes down through the years. They were pumpkins, Indians, spacemen, elephants, cowboys, robots, you name it.

I took them to churches in the area that had fall festivals. They had lots of fun, got their candy, and never ventured into the scary aspect of Halloween.

Mary Connealy said...

I was all excited about Halloween for a few years.

Well, first we ignored it. I mean we gave out candy but when my oldest was born I spend about five years tryign to keep the news of Halloween from her. Saved a lot of work for me.
Then I bought this pattern for a kind of boring, floor length dress, longsleeved, that had ??? four seams.
Up the sides, curl around down the armes, then across each shoulder.

Four YEARS I'd just make this in the right size for my three older girls, and by changing fabric, I could make them a:
Pioneer Girl
I bought black hats for the witch, made a bonnet (hardest thing I ever did, it came with the pattern)

Those were good years. We had a lot of fun being pioneer girls. I read the Little House on the Prairie series to the girls every winter for years and it was wonderful, except for a while there they all called me MA and that got old.

Then, as for ugly scary costumes, well, I just got tired. I'd let them be anything if they'd just leave me alone. My gosh, there were about four years with daughter number 3 got on this kick of wearing a beige trench coat I owned. She'd put sunglasses on and carry a briefcase. Every year.
She'd say, "I'm a FBI agent."
Next year,
"I'm an accountant."
next year
"I'm an IRS Auditor" (Nothin' scarier than that, admit it!)
I remember fondly the year I found a white blazer, dripped 'blood' on it, (red paint) dangled a fake stethoscope around my daughter's neck, painted her face white and her lips red so it looked like blood was dripping out of her mouth, and put black around her eyes. Ratted her long blonde hair up wildly--A ghoulish mad scientist.

Only trouble? By the end of the day, the white paint had mostly worn off, the red lips were mostly gone, the hair had died down. the black around the eyes had faded a bit. She looked kind of like an intern who'd just put in a 100 hour week. But I was too busy (or lazy, you be the judge) to re-up her make-up so she just looked tired. Poor baby.

They get the same amount of candy regardless, in case you've never noticed.

Wow, this is tooooooo long.

Erica Vetsch said...

Jodi is so cute in that costume. (She's cute in every picture.) I love the idea of Trunk-or-Treat. What a great way to get people together and add some safety factor too.

We have, over the past several years, had another family over on Halloween night. We hand out candy, the kids used to play with toys together, while the moms gabbed. Now the kids are older, they 'hang out' and play video games and talk.

Mary, the idea of the IRS Agent is hilarious. That is one SCARY costume!

And I'm doing NaNo this year. Went to the kickoff party last night. I tried it last year and couldn't make it go, but this year I know what I want to write and I've got it all mapped out. We'll see how it goes.

Blissful said...

With my son, we always attended a Harvest Party every year at our church with plenty of games and treats.

But when I was little, it was the normal Halloween activities. I was dressed in everything from a cow to a Mexican in a huge sombrero, a Civil war soldier among other things. :)

Debby Mayne said...

Jodi is so cute!

I don't care for trick or treating at all, but I do hand out candy to the little ones who come to my door. When my girls were small, I let them dress up as something cute and visit the neighbors.

Elaine said...

As to NaNoWriMo, I finished the challenge two or three years ago and have a novel I'm still polishing that I hope some day to submit to your publication house. It was a good experience and I had no trouble keeping up the pace, even with a family emergency that arouse in the middle of it.

Last year I tried it and just couldn't make it work. My story just didn't come together as I wanted it to and I finally gave up.

I'll probably try it again some time. The most important thing I learned from it is that it is possible to write 50,000 new words within a month if you discipline yourself to do it.

Cara Putman said...

She is adorable! We avoid the whole thing, but our church has a harvest party. The kids dress up like cowboys and cowgirls, play games, get candy, etc. Tonight we went out for dinner. When we got home our neighborhood was OVERRUN with kids. A few years ago, Eric had candy and maybe two people rang the doorbell. I had enough candy for a few kids, but nothing like that. I'll have to start thinking now about next year and what to do. Sigh.l

CatMom said...

Jodi makes a PRECIOUS PANDA !! ~ Every year since I had children, my sweet Daddy would call on the phone to remind us when the Charlie Brown "Great Pumpkin" special was coming on. Even as my kiddos became older, Daddy continued reminding us and we'd watch the special on TV. Since we lost Daddy last year, we miss not having him call to remind us - - but we make sure we still watch that - - it's a classic! Blessings, Patti Jo