Today is our annual Halloween pumpkin carving, cookout, and Charlie Brown day. Every year we spend this time as a family, perhaps inviting friends to join us, carving pumpkins, enjoying a cookout, and wrapping up the night watching our DVD copy of Its the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. I’ll be honest, my husband and I did this even before we had kids and over the years we found it just a great way to channel the excitement and get everyone in the mood to trick or treat the next day. Keeping it simple, the cookout is just burgers and dogs and thanks to a beautiful sunny Sunday, we’ll surely toss in time outside with the chimnea and smores ~ its just that kind of delightful day.
Here are my tips to help you carve pumpkins, survive your shift as the candy greeter, and capture perfect photos all weekend long.
1. Safety First
- Carve ahead. Excitement can run at a mach speed on the actual day and if you aren’t careful you will find yourself at the emergency room instead of on the deck enjoying the day. Carve the day or evening before to fill their time and spread out the celebration.
- Make it safe. Avoid knives altogether by offering younger children pumpkin decorating kits like the adorable Mr. Potato Head series. Offer older children carving tools with templates that will help them create artwork all their own.
- Illuminate with ease. Choose battery operated tea lights, a strobe light, or short, wide pillar candles that will handle the time frame safely without burning out.
2. Trick or Treat
- Use a bucket: Choose one with a wide opening like a witch’s cauldron so kids can easily get a piece or two. Make sure you have an allergy free option like pretzels just in case and set those aside in another container equally as fun.
- Go candy free: Glow sticks or Halloween Coupon Books from Wendy’s or McDonald’s are always a hit and perfect to give to any teenagers just having fun. With a charitable contribution made from your purchase you can’t go wrong.
- Take it easy: Give yourself a spot to sit or stand and keep a stash of magazines, bottle water, your camera, and of course that candy nearby, letting you greet in waves and enjoy them all night long.
3. Picture Perfect
- Strap on your gear: Choose your smallest camera or camcorder and make sure you have wrist straps to keep them handy and out of the way all in one. Best solution is one gadget that can do both and take costume pictures before you leave. Anything during or after will simply be your good luck.
- Share your shots: Start a tradition Halloween photo tradition where each year as part of your home decor, you have a photo nook where past year’s photos are in full view. Use a Halloween specific frame and drop your shots in as soon as you can hit print.
- Be a gracious guest: Pre Trick or Treating parties are a true delight and you need to thank your hostess for taking her time to give your family that special memory. Go picture frame every time since costumes are worth capturing and offer it in cute seasonal reusable bag.
These are just a few shortcuts that make these next two days more treat than tricks when it comes to keeping my crew happy and engages. How to you prepare ahead of time to enjoy Halloween?
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