Halloween : Halloween: Beginning of Christmas & Pumpkin Ornaments
Halloween "Scary Christmas" Humor
Halloween: The Beginning of Christmas
Deck the Halls with Gourdly Grinnings...
Christmas Tree Pumpkin Ornament Project Instructions
Print Ornament Template »
Pumpkins can be cut out for single- or double-sided ornaments or gift tags.
For double-sided, print page and cut "mirrored" pumpkin sets out keeping them attached on one side. Next, fold both sides together and punch hole through both stems. Tie a loop of string or ribbon around to hang on Christmas tree.
For single-sided, cut single pumpkin out and punch hole through stem.
For gift tag, use single- or double-sided cut-out as a card with or without a punched hole.
It's funny how Halloween decorations have evolved through the years. When I was a kid in the 1970s, the standard decorations usually consisted of a carved pumpkin or "Jack-o'-lantern" on a front porch step, and maybe a cardboard skeleton with movable arms, a witch, or a spider on a cottony web hanging in the living room window.
As a child, I remember walking the long block to my elementary school during mid-October and noticing the neighboring houses on my street with these small decorations pinned or taped to picture windows and doors and most importantly, they were easy to take down once October 31 trick-or-treating had passed. And like clockwork the following year, the same decorations went back up in the same places on the same houses and were reused with the same tape and pins until they were worn out.
Of course I knew of a few more "zealous" decorators like my best friend Cindy's mom, who was usually a room mother for our school holiday parties. She not only had the skeleton taped to the front room window, but she had the inside of the house covered too: more cardboard cutouts of mummies and witches and plastic pumpkins filled with candy in the kitchen and family rooms. Cindy came to school wearing halloween-decorated shirts and various pin-on plastic pumpkins with strings you pulled to make their arms and legs move. Ah, the magic of childhood.
Not Afraid of Changes
In the 1990s, I began to notice that the simple window decorations from my early childhood had expanded to include big orange pumpkin-faced leaf bags sitting in people's front yards. How clever that bag manufacturer's thought of creatively combining leaf raking with Halloween decorating. One could rake leaves, stuff them into an orange grinning leaf bag, and wa-la!, have an instant huge pumpkin in the yard. I have to admit that the leaf-bag pumpkins were cute... until everyone on the block had them!
Next, competitions arose in neighborhoods for the "Scariest" Halloween scenes. Scores of participants transformed their front yards into "The Night of the Living Dead" complete with graveyards and hangmen to entertain neighbors and win prizes. I think that was when the bandwagon tipped over. Soon the "one" simple Halloween candy and costume aisle occupying stores from September to October grew into a multi-aisle holiday section that started in May and featured a zillion new kinds of Halloween decorations including those humongous inflatable front yard novelties that looked like carnival moon walks.
"When I was a kid in the 1970s, the standard decorations usually consisted of a carved pumpkin or 'Jack-o'-lantern' on a front porch step, and maybe a cardboard skeleton with movable arms, a witch, or a spider on a cottony web hanging in the living room window."
When I originally wrote this story in 2004, more people in my suburban neighborhood were transforming their front yards into haunted house-quality outdoor displays of graveyards and other spookiness complete with christmas-like strings of colored bulbs, flashing lights, garage door silhouettes, and inflatable stacked pumpkins and vampire Shreks. A new standard in Halloween holiday decorating was definitely set. This was also when I realized that for many, Halloween is the official beginning of Christmas and the decorations just morph from pumpkins to turkeys to reindeers between Halloween and Christmas. Undeniably, there is a constant stream of excitement and festive energy flowing in the air between October and December.
I don't mind that Halloween is the start of Christmas. In fact, I know that many people are having a lot of fun decorating their homes and yards for the holidays. A lot of suppressed creativity is being expressed through these activities, maybe because they are sanctioned and "safe." Whatever the case, it reinforces the idea that being creative and playful truly has its place in our lives. And this is another reason why many enjoy the holiday season. Happy Halloween and Scary Christmas to you! •
© 2004, 2007 Chris Dunmire. All rights reserved.[an error occurred while processing this directive]