This year, in an effort to avoid holiday shame, we just gave in and bought plastic pumpkins. I know they're kinda tacky. I feel like I'm betraying Martha Stewart in some way...even though I never made any kind of specific commitment to upholding her level of tasteful, labor-intensive handmade decor. But you know what? Plastic pumpkins are squirrel-proof and I kinda like 'em. Furthermore, Zeke likes them a lot, and I figure that if I use them for the next 15 years I am going to accrue a lot of savings in deferred real pumpkin purchases. "No Zeke, no need to go to the pumpkin patch! Let's go dig the box of fake pumpkins out of the garage--it'll be fun!" I'm going to have to make a game out of it if he's going to buy in, but I think he will. He was at Grandma's house last weekend, and when she plunged his hand into the pumpkin guts so he could pull them out as part of his very first pumpkin carving attempt, he puked. Didn't just gag or make a face, but actually vomited on the floor. Shanti thinks this is amazing, but I think it makes sense. Pumpkin guts are uniquely slimy and disgusting. I've never puked when touching them, but I've certainly felt like it.
In other Halloween news, we found out that the people on our street don't subscribe to the standard wait-at-your-door-for-the-kids-to-arrive candy distribution system. No, these folks actually set up long tables at the bottom of the street on Halloween, line up all their bowls of candy on the tables, then kick back with pizza and wine behind the tables while the kids come by and retrieve their loot from the candy buffet. The people who live at the house in front of the buffet buy the pizza and wine. The other neighbors just bring side dishes. I'm pretty sure this goes in the "plus" column of any evaluation of life in our new neighborhood.