Late October, early November. In many countries, Halloween is a big deal and often takes too much space… How do you talk about it with your kids? Here is another perspective and some tips to prepare a smiling lantern.

Like a pumpkin…?

Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin.

God chooses you, takes you in and washes all the dirt of you.

He opens you up, touches you deep inside,

and scoops out all the yucky stuff.

Including seeds of doubt, greed, hate, etc…

Then, He carves you a smiling face and

He puts His light inside you to shine for all the world to see.

A smiling lantern for a smiling face!

Choose a nice pumpkin, preferably elongated, with a stem. Wash and dry it. Do not carry it by the stem as it is fragile and can be part of your decoration. Keep the pumpkin cool until you are ready to use it. Some pumpkins do not last very long.

Do NOT open or hollow out the pumpkin from the top or the back BUT open it from the bottom. With a good knife, cut and remove a circle so that you can put your hand through (15-20 cm). This will allow you to easily remove the pulp without damaging the skin or the stem.

With a spoon, carefully dig out all the seeds and pulp. This prevents moisture and rot from setting in. Work by gently turning your pumpkin on its side.

Choose a simple design to decorate your pumpkin with eyes, nose, teeth, etc. Dry it before drawing the design, preferably with a washable marker: you can easily modify your design. Etch it first with a knife before making full cuts, this allows you to make any necessary adjustments.  Carefully carve your pumpkin.

Then wipe it dry completely with a cloth or paper towel on the inside to limit mold and rot. Take it out and to make it last as long as possible, place it on a dry surface and keep it out of the sunlight.

To enjoy it at night, place a battery-operated tea light inside and admire its light. And take a picture and SMILE!

With the flesh, you can make a delicious pumpkin soup or pie.