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October 31, 2008

The kids carved pumpkins last night.
Stuart cut open the tops and the kids took it from there using a pumpkin carving knife that we found at the thrift store. Charlie insisted that he wanted his pumpkin to look just like the one on the package that the little knife came in. Lauren spent an hour fulfilling his little heart's desire.

Claire carved her pumpkin with two front teeth as her own mouth is void of any at the moment.

We've run the gamut when it comes to Halloween... from homemade costumes and trick or treating in the fall festivals at church. But these both added up to the same thing. Waaaay too much candy and children who turned into fussy, begging urchins until the sugar finally ran out. It turns out when it comes to creating family traditions that the less is more philosophy works best for us.

We finally hit on the perfect way to make the evening special a few years ago. I pack the kids in the car and meet Stuart for dinner at a local restaurant and then we head to Wal-Mart. We grab a cart and start our first round of Christmas shopping. We start the season off by shopping for Operation Christmas Child. It is so much fun to spend the evening finding things we can put in a shoe box to make one little boy and one older girl happy on Christmas day. Wind-up flashlights, sunglasses, chapstick, marbles, dominoes and Tonka trucks all pass through my children's hands into the hands of another child in another country.

Tonight, a Wal-Mart employee was passing out candy as we were shopping and each child took one piece and said thank you and that was it for our crew this year. Tomorrow I don't have to referee how many Snickers each kid can have before breakfast. Bucking tradition has its advantages.


40winkzzz said…
We used to do all our Operation Christmas Child shopping at MalWart too. But now most of it comes from the Dollar section at Target. (Although it always strikes me as rather odd... they make little toys in 3rd world countries and ship them over here, and then we buy them cheaply and ship them bacl over there...) And we pick things up thru'out the year, so there is no "OCC shopping trip" anymore, except to pick up a few fill-ins.

Anyway-- That sounds like a GREAT way to spend Halloween night. Good idea! I get tired of all the candy from the church events, too. We've pretty much stopped going to those. Tonight we stayed home and had pizza & pop (the latter is a real treat here), played Apples to Apples, & watched a movie. The kids thought it was great.
Now THAT is an awesome idea!!!

ValleyGirl said…
What a great way to spend Halloween!! That would totally be my choice, too. Except my kids go to public school, so costumes and trick-or-treating is unavoidable. I love your idea though. We love doing the Operation Christmas Child thing, too.
That's a wonderful idea! We did our two shoeboxes from the Dollar Tree...and will deliver them to church tomorrow. It's one of our favorite things to do, along with picking items from the Samaritan's Purse Christmas Catalog.
Faith said…
What a great idea!
And I love the pics; your kids are too cute!

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