Monday, October 27, 2014

The Great Pumpkin - A Halloween Tradition

Ever since 1966, when It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown first debuted on prime time television, I've been a faithful fan. I've watched, loved, and enjoyed that story for forty-eight years, since I was in the sixth grade.

Credit: Paramount Pictures & Charles M. Schultz
It was a simpler time, and smack-dab-in-the-middle of my childhood. I'm instantly swept back to that time, and the sweetness of life. I've felt sweet pity for Charlie Brown forty-eight times. I've anticipated that people would drop rocks in his trick-or-treat bag again every year. How can he stand it? I wait with childlike angst, while Linus writes a letter to The Great Pumpkin, and then sits in the patch waiting for it to rise up. I dread the impending doom and disappointment. Same story. Same familiarity. Same delight in the cuteness and wisdom of Charles Schulz and the animators.

Same sense of home. That is what even these little traditions evoke. A memory of a happy time at home, for I was blessed enough to have a loving family and stable home life that included these fun nights of TV specials. And that family taught me my first lessons in community and shared experiences.

I still make plans to watch it every year during the week prior to Halloween. Since I own the DVD version, I can watch it when it is convenient. I often bake sugar cookies, decorating them with orange icing to eat one or two during the show. It is part of fall fun for me.

This year I made dark chocolate haystacks instead. Then I placed those little candy pumpkins in my cluster of chocolate haystacks that are hardening to be eaten. Fun and honoring good memories are my only goals for this event. And a tasty treat is my reward, while watching It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, yet one more time.

Why do I never tire of watching this old cartoon? Who knows! The childlike spirit and imagination in me live on, and for that I am grateful. Grateful for parents who nurtured that in me. Grateful for the strength to let it live on in my adult heart. And grateful for the sea salt sprinkled on those dark chocolate haystacks with peanuts, waiting to be enjoyed during the cartoon. Too bad the sea salt doesn't glitter in the photo.

Enjoy your fall traditions, everyone! Create some new ones. Just because it is fun. Now if you don't mind, I'm going to slip away and watch it all again.

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