When did Jack O' Lanterns become so jacked up?

When did Jack O' Lanterns become so jacked up?

Halloween is my favorite holiday. October is my favorite month. I just love fall.

My love for Halloween started when I was a child. My mom always decorated our house and yard. A cut out cardboard Frankenstein was a staple on our front door with his posable arms and legs. Every window had a witch, bat, or spider residing in it. Cornstalks and Indian Corn around our front tree.

And we always had a pumpkin. A Jack O’ Lantern.

With square eyes and a square nose.

And jacked up teeth.

It was our family tradition to go to the local store and pick out a pumpkin. We didn’t go to a pumpkin patch. My mom usually rescued the little guy from the local Frank’s Nursery and Crafts. He had to have the perfect hat. His top. With a perfect stem.

And you better not ever pick him up by it.

We would carve the pumpkin as a family. I can still smell the fat black Sharpie my mom used to create his face. I remember scooping out his guts and washing pumpkin seeds for my mom to bake with perfection.

Today, every pumpkin carving I see is work of art. A masterpiece. Stencils traced on them and cut out in precision. The face of a Disney character, super hero, Dracula, a witch, or monster.

Painted pumpkins. Chalkboard paint. Glitter.

What happened to good ole’ Jack?

Sadly, we are guilty of this too. Last year we carved a Mickey Mouse face into a pumpkin and this year Spiderman. For us, it was something we wanted to do for our son. Something he would recognize.

We really didn’t need to do that.

He has learned so much about Halloween this year. He knows what pumpkins, Jack O’ Lanterns, witches, and ghosts are. He knows about trick or treating. And costumes.

But mostly, Spiderman or not, he helped pick out and clean and carve his first pumpkin.

A tradition passed on.

We will just have to save the jacked up teeth for next year.

Tell me about your favorite Halloween tradition.

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