So I am at the point in my life that I am very close to that empty nester phase. In January 2019, my daughter got married. While we added an additional family member to our clan, it did eliminate one living in our household. My 18 year old son, my youngest, is a senior in high school and for all intents and purposes,, he pretty much does his thing. He spends very little time with his father and me due to his busy life of school, work, sports, and friends. So, to say the least my hubs and I are experiencing the transition to life with adult children. While this has many advantages, there is a bit of sadness that does come with it.

One of those sad things is the family fun times that young children can bring to the holidays. Now don’t get me wrong, holidays are fun with my grown kids, but some holidays like Halloween just don’t hold the same excitement they did when the kids were little. And honestly that’s a hard one for me cause fall is my favorite time and well, who doesn’t love any excuse to buy candy.

A few years ago inspiration came from some family friends to resolve this “missing out” feeling I experienced during all the fall festivities. For years, I enjoyed via Facebook my friends’ pics of their family pumpkin carving contest with their young child. As a family we had always done the pumpkin carving (minus the contest) a couple of days before Halloween, but that was getting hard with my teens. So about 3 years ago, our family’s pumpkin carving established itself as an official Facebook contest, hence making it the Annual Nichols Family Pumpkin Carving Contest.

Gaining Inspiration for the contest.
Rule #1 – “no stencils are allowed, free hand drawing only”
Entries for our 2019 Nichols Family Pumpkin Carving Contest

Now this event has grown to more than a night of pumpkin carving. The family expects the pumpkin carving contest meal to include apple cider, potato soup, and various dips and chips. While we carve our masterpieces, we listen to a specially made Halloween playlist. During the Facebook voting period, we enjoy family game time with Hocus Pocus movie playing on the tv. Then we tally the votes and declare the winner. And the winner proudly wears that badge of honor for the year.

My son-in-law, Parker keeping it classy with the classic Jack o’ Lantern
My son, Colton’s always creative and out of the box creation.
My husband, Joe’s always surprising detailed and scary creation
My attempt at trying to become a winner and falling short yet again.

This family activity has become a treasured time for me and definitely has established itself as a family fall fun tradition that I look forward to every year.

If you have teens, consider planning a special night of fall fun with your family and just maybe start a new family tradition.

Don’t forget the importance of family time and traditions. Family memories can be made for kids of all ages. Take time to plan something with your teens and you may just be rewarded with a glimpse of that young child that still lives in them.

Be sure and comment and let me know some things that you do to maintain your family time?

Lots of love and blessings to you and yours.

Posted by:Nicki Nichols

Nicki is a Professional Christian Coach. She enjoys a good glass of iced tea, laughing out loud, and talking to anyone. She spends her days writing blogs for My Nichols Worth and helping her clients through her coaching business, Nicki S Nichols Life Coach.

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