Pumpkin Carving Alternatives

By Nathan Hritz

If you are anything like me, the slightest thought of pumpkin innards makes you sick to your stomach. The putrid scent of pumpkin guts sends me up a wall, physically making me sick to my stomach. This week I’m going to tell you what I have always done to avoid that awful stench.

Although pumpkin carving is a Halloween tradition followed religiously by many, it has always had a negative connotation, from the classic line of Linus remorsefully yelling “You didn’t tell me you were gonna kill it!” at Lucy for driving a blade into his prized pumpkin in Charles Schulz’s, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” to physically getting sick the first time. I can remember carving a pumpkin, some fifteen years ago, maybe even more.

As an alternative to plunging a knife into the pumpkin of my choosing each year to remove the stringy, seedy mess of a pumpkin and carve two eyes and a smile, I opted to paint pumpkins. Painting pumpkins always seemed to work best in my situation. I could still be festively creative whilst avoiding the pains of nausea.

I do not personally know of anybody else who gets sick from the smell of pumpkin innards. If you are reading this and have had the same dilemma, I would personally love to hear what you have done as an alternative to carving pumpkins.

Upon a little research, I discovered a few trending alternatives that I will share. From Who-Arted.com, I found a plethora of ideas ranging from pumpkin push-ins (essentially turning a poor, innocent pumpkin into a Mr. Potato Head), to stickers and everything between.

Using glue and glitter to design a pumpkin was one that I found interesting since it retains creativity. I find that in this day and age, it is so convenient to go out and buy something instead of making or decorating something, putting your mark on it and calling it your own.

Where’s the fun in having somebody else decorate your pumpkin? Granted, I would never encourage anybody to pour their heart and soul into carving/painting/glittering/whatever-ing a pumpkin. At the end of the day, a pumpkin is either going to end up in a composter or splattered all over the street, but still have fun with it!

Only a few times a year is a family encouraged to gather together and inspire creativity in each other and to inspire togetherness. That is something I would consider priceless in this digital age of ours.

So be it through carving, painting or whatever it is you do, have fun decorating those pumpkins! Halloween is approaching quickly. Make it the most memorable.


1 comment

  1. You are not alone, Nathan. Apparently, my 14 year old daughter feels like you do. She is sensitive to a number of smells to begin with, but last night, we were having a party for our Girl Scout troop, where pumpkin carving was among the activities, and it wound up ruining the night for my kid. We haven’t carved a pumpkin in years (preferring to decorate with Sharpie, which seems to work and reduces rotting), so I had no idea this would be an issue. As soon as everyone was carving away and scooping out their pumpkins, my daughter got queasy from the overbearing scent of pumpkin innards in the air, and having to get fresh air. I wound up carving her pumpkin and taking her home early. Now I also know that any suggestion of doing this will not be met favorably by her!

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