There's just something cheerful about a pile of pumpkins even if they're still dusty from the field and sporting an array of nicks and scrapes.
Maybe we can all resonate with having quirky imperfections??
My boys have always been drawn to the little knots and bumps of "character" on pumpkins, sometimes using those features when they carve them into jack-o-lanterns.
The past few years we've enjoyed getting stackable pumpkins, placing them as colorful sentries by our front door.
I recently used a batch of small pumpkins and funky gourds to add a fall flair to our picnic tables at church where we've been having outdoor services for months.
My son rebuilt these tables as part of his Eagle Scout project and we got to have our debut service last week. I enjoyed watching church members of all ages play with the colorful little gourds.
One of my FAVORITE things to do during pumpkin season is to do a Gratitude Pumpkin.
Have you heard of this? It's super simple and always has a different "flavor" each year, depending on your family activities, health status, demands of school, and age of kids.
We typically choose a white pumpkin so that a variety of colorful sharpies will show up.
You can go small or large with your Gratitude Pumpkin.
Sometimes we follow a string of words and phrases in a spiral all the way around the pumpkin. Sometimes it's more of a free-for-all.
As with a lot of family traditions, we mothers get 'em started and nudge family members to participate along the way. All I do is write a simple phrase and put out a container of sharpies.
I've placed our Gratitude pumpkin in our entry hall, on the dining room table, and even on our kitchen table to catch boys while they're eating dinner. Put it wherever your family gathers naturally and the visual reminder may be all you need.
Several years I've left the pumpkin and sharpies out on the front porch so gratitudes can be filled in while we were waiting for the bus. This had the added "bonus" of blessing all of our delivery drivers and other visitors because they could see it, reading it while they waited for us to answer the door. It even slows down trick-or-treaters...well, only a few probably and mostly Moms carrying their costumed cargo!
Pumpkins are a fun addition to our Bible Quilt journals, too.
My sis-in-law and a Bible Quilter friend in Alabama contributed these cute pumpkin templates for us to use in our #biblequiltjournals. (Alice's pumpkin will also be featured in the 2021 Month-by-Month Bible Quilt Journal coming soon!)
For several years I've seen this "Christians are Like Pumpkins" photo floating around on social media, basically using pumpkins as an analogy for our transformation from sinner to being the light of the world. I used this as an inspiration for my Pumpkin template.
If you have kiddos that love to color, invite them to get your page started by coloring the pumpkins for you as you talk about pumpkin guts (sin) and how God redeems us. Then you'll be all set for carving those jack-o-lanterns this week, reinforcing the concept as you go.
It's not too late to start a gratitude pumpkin. Ours lingers through til Thanksgiving.
Oh...and don't be surprised if your family comes up with some interesting and/or humorous ways to express their gratitude.
"Augers" showed up on our pumpkin this year - - - in recognition of how much easier augers made the Eagle scout project for my son. After using post-hole diggers to start holes for the outdoor stage, he was very appreciative when his Dad fired up the auger!
Enjoy all the wonders of pumpkin season!