Tuesday, October 15, 2013

"Scare" Up Some Family Smiles!

Recently, over a cup of tea, a friend confided in me that one of the funniest memories she has from her childhood is of building an autumn scarecrow.  Every year her whole family (she, her parents, and her two sisters) would scour the house for old clothes and props to create their autumn masterpiece!  She said the whole experience routinely involved the family spending an entire day stuffing the body, arms,and legs, carving the pumpkin head, and decorating a "seat" for the scarecrow on their front step.  She recalled that many of their favorite family stories were shared over this bonding activity, and that many entertaining memories rose from it with each successive year.  She offered this fantastic "recipe" for a fun family day: 
 Build A Fall Scarecrow
  • one large shirt (they always used a flannel of their father's)
  • one pair of pants (these varied from year to year - she remembered stuffing tights to make a girl scarecrow one year!)
  • footwear (socks or shoes)
  • gloves (or mittens!)
  • one large pumpkin
  • about 8 hay bales (depending on how big of a scarecrow you are making and how much hay you want to use for the "seat")
  • paint/glitter/props (the props she remembered best were a yellow feather boa, a pitchfork, a fishing pole, a nerf water gun, and potted chrysanthemums - her mother's favorite for decorating around the "seat")
Decide on a theme for your scarecrow - everyone write down an idea and select one at random or hold a vote! Stuff clothes with hay, mingle liberally with laughter and enthusiasm.  Carve (or paint!) face of pumpkin, sprinkle with glitter, giggles, and love.  Arrange your creation together, finishing with shared family stories and seasonal snacks!  Once completed you have a magnificent scarecrow, and memories that will last a lifetime!

She mentioned that she still thought of all those years her family kept up their tradition every time she saw a scarecrow and that she planned to keep the tradition alive with her daughter once she was old enough to participate!

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