Every year our family carved pumpkins. I always made mine with gnarly teeth and uneven eyes. My nephew made one where the pumpkin was puking up pumpkin seeds. My mother used a printed out page with an elaborate design of a fairy. My sister made one of ghost with chains. My wife made happy jack-o-lantern, and inevitably then helped my niece complete another carving. We made a mess on the kitchen table. Joked about how gross and slimy the innards are. Once finished we lit the candles and placed them on the front porch.

I can remember some jack-o-lanterns of years past. One year I used nails to make the pumpkin resemble Pinhead from the Hellraiser movie. Another year my nephew made a larger pumpkin eat a smaller jack-o-lantern. One year we made one just by drilling holes randomly in the pumpkin. My family liked the printed designs and using a thumbtack or pin to make a “blueprint” of where to cut. I never had the patience, and enjoyed the random uneven cuts – making it more creepy.

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. When I was a kid it was all about the candy. In college it was all about the parties. Now as I get older it is about the traditions … and the candy.

If you haven’t carved your pumpkin this year, here are a few ideas you can use. Always be careful with sharp objects and fire. Here are some videos if you need any inspiration.