I absolutely love the holidays. Having the family together is a feeling that I will always cherish, so the preparation that is involved is always worth it. In fact, I truly enjoy decorating. Transforming our home into a haunted house or a Thanksgiving feast really gives me a true sense of accomplishment! However, one complaint I do have is the short-lived nature of some of our decorations, especially since we're getting closer to Halloween. It would be great to be able to use the pumpkin that I have for Halloween for Thanksgiving as well, since the two holidays are so close together! Here are some ideas I was able to come up with for making that Halloween pumpkin last;
Put aside the knives. If you want to keep your pumpkin for the long haul, its important not to carve into it. There are various methods for making a carved pumpkin last longer, but none of them will help it last more than a couple of weeks. And there is nothing worse than seeing all of your hard work mold and fall apart after just a few days.
Paint it. It seems a shame to let your great idea for your jack-o-lantern design go to waste, so rather than carving it out, just paint it on! The great thing about paint is that you can use different colors to liven up your design. Plus, when Halloween is passed, you can just turn the pumpkin around and paint a Thanksgiving-themed design on the other side.
Temporary Tattoos. Grab some holiday-themed temporary tattoos and decorate your pumpkin with them. They're easy to apply and just as easy to remove (little rubbing alcohol and your good to go!) so you can use your pumpkin after Halloween.
Ribbons and bows. For a quick, no-fuss, and great looking centerpiece, in festive colors. This is particularly fun because after Halloween, you can remove the ribbons and use new ones for your Thanksgiving theme!
Creative display. Get pumpkins of various sizes and find unique ways to display them around your house, both inside and out. If you have a front porch with even a couple of steps, make a cascading display with pumpkins of various sizes, shapes, and colors to greet visitors to your home throughout the fall. You can keep it interesting by adding potted flowers amidst your presentation.
Unique centerpieces. Decorate your pumpkins with flowers, leaves, and other fall-themed foliage and place them on your table. They make a great conversation piece and a lovely addition to your fall get-to-gethers. If you have an interesting large platter, you can also use them as the focal point for a fruit or dessert display - a great way to add color and an eatable touch!
Candles. You don't have to cut your pumpkin open to use it as a candle holder. Remove the stem of the pumpkin and use the resulting dip in the top of the pumpkin to cradle your candle. Decorate around it for a unique candle-holder and display.
It is a fruit, after all. Whatever else you decide to do with your pumpkin, you can make sure to use the whole thing by creating desserts and snacks from the insides. Roast the pumpkin seeds or make them into pumpkin-seed brittle. Pumpkin pancakes are always a hit around our house, and who can say "no" to that old standby, fresh pumpkin pie?
Whatever you do with your pumpkin for the fall holidays, be creative and have fun. Getting the most out of your decorations is a great way to save money and provide a festive atmosphere for your family and guests during these great holidays.
Sara Coleman is a working mother who has learned the value of a budgeting through raising a child on a limited income. Through personal experience and working with clients she encounters at her job with a personal loans company, she has become an advocate of prudent financial choices and saving strategies. She also loves to spend time making her home simple and chic on merely pennies!