A Halloween Surprise for Aging Parents (and others)

Halloween is upon us. And aging parents, like everyone else, no doubt remembers their childhood and the fun they had trick-or-treating. For adults, the fun is usually going out with grandchildren. Yet an unexpected, decorated pumpkin may lift the spirits, whether older parents are in nursing homes or are the bobbing-for-apples, trying-to-ride-a-broomstick type.

Since it’s almost Halloween, prices will be very low.  Pumpkins need not have a perfect shape–in fact the larger pumpkin (above) is quite lopsided.

You only need a big skewer, a thiner turkey skewer (to poke holes for the tender stems), whatever you have in the garden*, something to cut them with, and a glue gun.  The entire process (minus pumpkin purchasing) takes about 15 minutes.

If you find a creature on sale (pharmacies are no doubt the best bet now–probably near the candy section…at least that’s where I found the little scarecrows today), glue-gun it on the top.  Then use your creativity.  I bought a plant at Trader Joe’s with the larger of the chrysanthemums, then cut two blooms from the center for the larger pumpkin.  The plant looks undisturbed–perfect on the coffee table.

After decorating the first pumpkin two years ago, I was told that the flowers actually lasted as long as some bouquets (because of the moisture trapped inside the pumpkin).  It was so much easier than carving a pumpkin–at least for me–and the old couple I took it to (as well as their caregiver and daughter) still talk about it.

I’m off to take them the larger pumpkin.  Tomorrow the smaller one goes to an elderly woman who lives alone.   Happy Halloween!


*chrysanthemums, daisy chrysanthemums, ivy, leafy twigs