COLUMN | Narratives of a New Canaan Newbie


Jack-o-lantern, Jack-o-lantern,
You are such a funny sight.
As you sit there by the window,
Looking out into the night.

I believe that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who absolutely adore Halloween, and those who are just trying to survive it. My sincerest apologies to all of my Halloween fanatics out there, but I happen to fall in the latter category. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a total curmudgeon. I love to see children all dressed up, living out their wildest fantasies, and I honestly really enjoy strolling through the neighborhood as my kids trick-or-treat. Being surrounded by such pure delight, quite frankly, makes me warm and happy inside. Halloween Eve is the innocence of childhood personified, and I’m all about it.

After all, folks, we may not have it all together, but together we certainly have it all…


No, no, it’s the build-up to this magical night and much of what accompanies it, that I could do without. Discussions of the year’s costumes begin in my household as early as July. I have no sooner celebrated the independence of our great nation before my crew starts making their selections…and then changing their minds…repeatedly. I have, at least, wised up over the years, and I no longer make the mistake of purchasing their creative ensembles until October’s arrival, first prefacing that all decisions are FINAL.

My least favorite part of the Halloween countdown, however, is by far the annual carving of the pumpkins. Now, while I thoroughly delight in the pumpkin selection process, and I am mesmerized by the finished product, it is everything that goes into creating the infamous jack-o-lantern that I despise. I am haunted by memories of Halloweens past trying the supervise my husband and three children as they haphazardly scooped out the innards of my clean kitchen. Oh, how I do wish that I was one of those chill moms capable of remaining unbothered as my pumpkin pulp and slimy seeds splatter my floors (and walls). But, alas, the reality is that the mere thought of such an inevitable mess makes me break out in hives.

Last Sunday, however, a true miracle occurred at our very first New Canaan family Halloween party. Upon exiting the corn maze that awaited us at our arrival, we were greeted by a bevy of eager individuals armed with foreign devices that can best be described as giant blenders on steroids. The same capable helpers then confidently took my children’s pumpkins, and we all watched in awe as these mechanisms gutted and cleaned their jack-o-lanterns-to-be in, I kid you not, all of thirty seconds flat. The final result: pristine pumpkins ready to be designed, waiting beautifully for us to carve on a giant stretch of paper; a myriad of supplies at our disposable. Game changer! Forget that…at the risk of sounding dramatic, I will go a step further and say it was truly life changing. BEST. INVENTION. EVER!

And after my children’s creations were completed, they loaded our finished masterpieces into our car… and that was that. We partied on with the sea of Swifties, Mario Brothers and Marvel heroes in attendance without a care in the world…and, best of all, this mom didn’t have to clean up a single gourd dropping! As the sun set that very same night, we christened our jack-o-lanterns with candles and admired our work, mesmerized by the dancing illuminations flickering about our porch, truly captivated by the beauty that is Halloween. And do not fret my friends, for if you don’t have the good fortune of having your pumpkin hallowed before your very eyes, you can purchase your own electric pumpkin gutter at a homo depot near you. After all folks, we may not have it all together, but together we certainly have it all….

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