by Brandie Valenzuela
Our family has pretty much stopped trick or treating.
We live in a rural area, so most streets have no street
lights and homes are on large lots and tend to be spread
out quite a bit. While, I am not against it altogether, my
husband and I have decided over the last few years to find
alternate activities, and nowadays, it is quite easy.
One of the alternate activities we participate in is our local
elementary school fall festival. The kids are allowed to dress
up (there is even a costume contest), plus their are booths
set up where children can exchange their tickets to play a
fun game. Everyone always wins -- candy and other goodies!
Another yearly activity in our family is decorating our home
for the Autumn season and for Halloween. We have decided
to forgo the "scary" decor for more seasonal decorations:
scarecrows, pumpkins, fall leaf garland, and other delightful
signs of fall.
Our family also has great fun cooking up fun Halloween or
Autumn themed meals, snacks, and sweets during this time
of the year. Like many families, we enjoy visiting our local
pumpkin patch and picking out our own pumpkins and then
bringing them home for carving and pumpkin seeds!
Yet another enjoyable tradition in our family is watching the
less-scary Halloween movies and cartoons. Even though
my children are getting older, every year we still watch "It's
The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown". It has become a family
tradition that I am sure will continue for many, many years.
If you are looking for even more fun Halloween tradition to
start with your family, our family does something that is very
easy for all to do. Your children will love doing this, as I am
sure you will too!
**The Pumpkin Phantom**
When you go out pumpkin picking, pick out an extra pumpkin
to surprise someone with! You can surprise a senior citizen,
a teacher, a single person, or just about anyone! Next you
must get a note or card ready to give with the pumpkin. Since
you will do this in secret, make sure you choose a method,
such as your computer or cutting out letters from magazines
or newspapers, so that the receiver won't be able to recognize
your writing. Your message could say something like this:
Happy Halloween from the Pumpkin Phantom!!!
Then that night put your kids in the car and drive to the
home of the person you are giving it too. Have one or more
of your children sneak up to the home and place the pumpkin
on the steps and ring the doorbell (or knock) and run like crazy
back to the car! It is a lot of fun and a great way to do
something fun for someone else! This idea is from a past
issue of "Friend", a children's magazine published by
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
**The Fun & Sneaky Family**
Here is another variation of the above idea, but this is
done with candy and a poem. Decorate a paper bag (or
use a basket if you wish), and put in the bag a paper
pumpkin, a pattern to make that same paper pumpkin, a
bunch of candy or other goodies, and a note that says:
A fun & sneaky family has come to town
To leave you some goodies that we see you have found
If you do not wish to disappoint all
Continue this greeting, this "sneaky family call"
Buy or make some treats, 2 paper pumpkins, and two notes like this
Deliver them to 2 neighbors who may have been missed.
Don't let them see you, be sneaky, no doubt
And make sure they put their paper pumpkin out.
Next, you have only one day to act, so be quick
Leave it at doors where a sneaky family hasn't hit
Deliver at dark, where there is no light.
Ring the doorbell and run, and stay out of sight.
Last but not least, come join in the season.
Don't worry, be happy -- you need no good reason.
Be cool, have fun, and remember don't be seen.
Share the spirit of Halloween!
(Don't forget to hang your paper pumpkin on a door or window
so other sneaky families will know you've already been visited.)
Back to Family
©2001 - Brandie Valenzuela
About The Author:
Brandie is a freelance writing mother of three children.
She is also the editor of the Family First Newsletter at: