family fun

Fall Traditions: Carving Pumpkins and Decorating Cookies

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It's time for the fall traditions. For some, that might mean driving to the mountains to see the leaves. For others, it means going to pick out pumpkins and gourds. For our family, we love to pick out pumpkins at the pumpkin patch, carve awesome designs in them, and make pumpkin sugar cookies.

Split picture of a family at a pumpkin patch

I have fond memories of our family decorating pumpkin cookies every October. This activity made such a lasting impression on me as a young girl, that I decided to pass this tradition on to my family. We love to invite our friends and cousins over for lots of fun. It is a great way for our family to connect. We usually start the evening out by carving our pumpkins.

Little boy carving a green pumpkin

My husband even gets into the action.

Man carving a pumpking with a pattern

We love using the books on the market that give you lots of fun patterns and designs. Pumpkin Masters has a book that also comes with tools to make carving easier.

Carved pumpkins lined up on the counter

Once the pumpkins are done, we like to line them up and light them. It is so fun to see how different they all look. I love seeing the kids' personalities come out.

After our pumpkins are carved, we all take a few sugar cookies and start decorating. I have a really yummy sugar cookie recipe that I use. My little kids love to help roll out the dough and cut it in shapes of pumpkins, ghosts, or bats. I usually bake the cookies in advance so they are ready to frost and decorate. Some of my favorite things to decorate our cookies with are candy corns, red hots, licorice string, Reese's Pieces, sprinkles, and butter cream frosting. I find that if you have all the condiments in small bowls on the table, it is easy for everyone to grab and decorate their cookies easily.

We usually end up decorating at least 2-3 dozen cookies. We like to keep some for ourselves and then plate up and take the rest to our neighbors. This tradition is so much fun and involves the whole family.

What are your fall family traditions? What is it about this tradition that make it so meaningful for you?

Jill Greenlaw has a banking background. She gave that up 17 years ago when she got married and started having kids. She loved being a stay-at-home mom while raising her four beautiful children. A few years ago, Jill went back to work in sales. She is now working for the Mom It Forward team as their Community Manager. She loves her job. Her interests include camping, motorcycling, boating, photography, reading, cooking, and traveling. Put her in flip flops anywhere warm and she is happy.

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