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Halloween, Thanksgiving, and a “Thankful Pumpkin”

By BILL BAKER

 

As we close out October and look ahead to a new month, the traditions of the past are mixed with the troubles of the present.

The restrictions on our lives, affecting young and old, will be remembered for years to come.  What will we tell our children and grandchildren about 2020 and the pandemic?  What will we and they store to be recalled later?

From the past, we adults have special memories of fun and games, good food, family get-togethers, trick or treat outings, turkey and dressing, and generally lots to be thankful for.

From this week and in the days ahead, today’s generation is building a storehouse of memories.  Will they think of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” or of their Halloween costumes as they went to the neighbors for trick or treat?  Will they recall a visit to a pumpkin patch somewhere nearby?

Or will the children and grandchildren in your family have been participants in a family exercise called “Thankful Pumpkin?”

Amy Latta, a mother and author, came up with the idea to make it easy for her young son to celebrate fall, enjoy Halloween, and remember Thanksgiving as a special holiday.

Starting by writing down things on a pumpkin that she and her family were grateful for, she has seen her idea attract families around the world.

This creative lady is now featured on the Internet with what appears to be a thriving profession (www.amy latta creations.com).

A simple idea that can be turned into an engaging family tradition with just a pumpkin, a Sharpie (black permanent marker), and a sense of thankfulness.  Especially appealing to families with younger children.  And, it’s a great way to teach children and grandchildren about the many things each has to be thankful for.

Will the Thankful Pumpkin replace any other traditions that are important to your family? No. It can simply take its place alongside those that are already important to you and your loved ones.

During the pandemic, we sometimes need a lighter touch.  The Thankful Pumpkin will bring a lot of smiles because of the many different expressions of thankfulness and because they will become part of future celebrations of Thanksgiving.

One line from “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” may be appropriate for an end to these thoughts, particularly with Halloween, the election, and Thanksgiving on our immediate calendars.  Linus advised “There are three things I’ve learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.”

 

Dr. William H. Baker is a Claiborne County native and former Middlesboro resident.  Email: wbaker@limestone.edu