turkey pumpkin #2

The Pumpkin Snatchers

The Halloween hijinks are over. Costumes are crumpled up on closet floors or stuffed back into dress-up bins. Pumpkins have been transformed into jack-o-lanterns and left abandoned on porches as kids have turned their attention to sorting and eating ALL the candy.felt turkey pumpkin

What if you took this interlude between Halloween and Thanksgiving as an opportunity to be a little sneaky with your kids to bless a neighbor in a fun way?

Simply choose a neighbor that would receive a surprise well. Sneak over to your neighbor’s porch with your child and steal adopt a pumpkin. Decorate it and return it to its own front porch. This is a quick, fun little way to create community among neighbors.

As with many things in parenting, I stumbled upon this sneaky activity as my son and I were sorting through craft supplies and discovered some long feathers that he had received from his grandma. We thought they looked like turkey feathers and we searched around for something that would make a turkey body…hmmm, something like a plump pumpkin? Since we had carved all of our large pumpkins, we were soon on our way over to steal borrow a neighbor’s pumpkin that looked just right…it even had a long “turkey neck” vine protruding from its top. My son poked those long feathers into the pumpkin rind and I bent pipe cleaners into something resembling turkey feet. We glued on some googly eyes and a little red wattle…before too long we had a Turkey Pumpkin emerge.

turkey pumpkin

Turkey pumpkin on neighbor's porchThen came the fun part! In the cover of dusk, we crept behind vehicles and skulked along the side of our house and fence to sneak alongside the neighbor’s house and down their front sidewalk. We gingerly placed our Turkey Pumpkin on their porch and scurried away. Now we weren’t sure what to do. An animated whispered discussion ensued there in the dark space between our two houses: do we ring the doorbell? do we knock on the door? do we just wait to see if they notice what’s happened to their pumpkin? How loonnnng would that take?

We couldn’t stand the anticipation….we decided to RING and RUN. We peeked over the car and watched their reactions unfold. Holding hands, we crouched down and snuck back into our house, tucking those memories into our hearts. I savored the delight in my son’s eyes from our little spontaneous excursion out of our comfort zone to spring an unexpected blessing onto our neighbors.turkey pumpkin #2

A family tradition was started that year, involving a younger brother the next year, and continuing until those neighbors moved away. It was a small gesture yet a community connection that lingered…perhaps returning the “favor” of all those school, soccer, and scout fundraisers that our neighbors had graciously supported throughout the years.

sneaking pumpkin to neighbor's house
sneaking to neighbor's house

 

Baylor Bears pumpkinYou can use whatever craft supplies you have on hand or do a quick outdoor scavenger hunt to use some bits of nature. Keep it simple and allow your child’s creativity to guide you. You could even paint pumpkins in your neighbor’s favorite sports team colors. #SicemBears

Your child will delight in the surprise element of this unusual “gifting.” Enjoy the camaraderie that develops!

“Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right.” Proverb 20:11

3 thoughts on “The Pumpkin Snatchers”

  1. What a great idea! Reminds me of my grandmother and the Mayday door bouquets baskets we crafted and placed neighbors doors many years ago.

  2. A good use of those feathers! I remember Mayday baskets too. I also learned a fun tradition from my daughters’ neighborhood in IL. During the week before Halloween neighbors and friends sneak over, leave treats, a note that says ” you have been Boo – ed!” And then ring the doorbell. They try to escape without getting caught :). It is fun to try to catch the person who “Boo – ed” you. It is even more fun if you can “Boo” them in return and not be caught!

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