Author Topic: Pumpkin Carving/Birthday party  (Read 3903 times)

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kakack

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Pumpkin Carving/Birthday party
« on: August 30, 2012, 11:13:13 AM »
My DS was born on Halloween, so October is a big month for us.  For the past couple of years, we've held a pumpkin carving party (non-gift giving, just a come have fun party) a week or so before Halloween and his birthday party in mid-November.

This year, he wants to combine the parties, which is OK with me.  I've always asked people to bring their own pumpkins to the carving party; I supply all refreshments and carving tools.

Is it still OK to ask people to supply their own pumpkins for the birthday party?  I'll be inviting about 20 kids, so that could be pretty pricey if I buy them, plus I don't want fighting over the pumpkins.  I figure I'll pick up 3-4 extra ones, just in case someone doesn't bring one, but they won't be too big.

Please give me some peace of mind that this would be OK.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Pumpkin Carving/Birthday party
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2012, 11:24:30 AM »
Sorry, but I see it as part of the party entertainment.  I'd find it odd to be invited to a childs bday party where I'd feel the need to provide a present and be asked to supply part of the party entertainment supplies. 

When we did princess parties for my DD, I didn't ask the girls to bring their own crowns and dress up gear or if I invite them to a rollerskating party I don't expec them to pay their own admission fee.

Do any local organizations host a pumpkin patch?  Maybe they'd give you a discount for such a large order. 

sourwolf

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Re: Pumpkin Carving/Birthday party
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2012, 11:37:07 AM »
I think you have to supply the pumpkins but the money will be well spent if you consider that carving them is the main focus of the party (instead of bowling or going to the movies) and that they can act as favors (instead of a bunch of toys/candy/etc)

Luci

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Re: Pumpkin Carving/Birthday party
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2012, 11:49:25 AM »
I think you have to supply the pumpkins but the money will be well spent if you consider that carving them is the main focus of the party (instead of bowling or going to the movies) and that they can act as favors (instead of a bunch of toys/candy/etc)

  POD

OT but related:

I also want to know how you handle 20 kids, or people of any age with pumpkins and sharp implements. I know many adults who couldn't behave at a mass pumpkin carving.

Where to you hold it? I can't imagine cleaning up my back porch, which is the only area in my home large enough to hold
a party like that.

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NyaChan

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Re: Pumpkin Carving/Birthday party
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2012, 11:52:26 AM »
I agree with the others that the pumpkins ought to be provided by you.  Honestly since you aren't having the carving party this year in addition to the birthday  party, you will already be saving money on the additional refreshments you would have purchased for the carving party & the entertainment you would have paid for at the birthday party.  Probably won't cost you all that much more.

O'Dell

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Re: Pumpkin Carving/Birthday party
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2012, 11:59:42 AM »
I think you have to supply the pumpkins but the money will be well spent if you consider that carving them is the main focus of the party (instead of bowling or going to the movies) and that they can act as favors (instead of a bunch of toys/candy/etc)

I like this idea if you want to announce it as a b-day party. Would this be your entertainment and favors and decor budget? Then all you'd really need is the cake and food which you'd be doing anyway.

The other option (and what I'd personally be inclined to do) is to not make it known that it's a b-day party, and bill it as a pumpkin carving party. Proceed as normal and just have the cake as an extra surprise. That would mean no presents for the b-day boy, but so many kids don't need/want the gifts.

FWIW, way back in the day when I was a kid, people paid their own way for b-day activities. For instance everyone paid their own for the roller-skating fees/rentals. If a kid couldn't afford that, then some parent (not always the b-day kid's parent) would pony up the money so everyone could participate. I realize this isn't acceptable in every social circle.
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MrsCrazyPete

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Re: Pumpkin Carving/Birthday party
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2012, 12:28:02 PM »
Instead of a CARVING party, could you have a pumpkin painting party? You could get smaller pumpkins, and then googly eyes, paint, glitter, etc, and let the kids decorate them like that.

I think you do have to provide the pumpkins if you bill it as a birthday party.
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Luci

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Re: Pumpkin Carving/Birthday party
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2012, 12:55:22 PM »
I'll be inviting about 20 kids, so that could be pretty pricey if I buy them, plus I don't want fighting over the pumpkins.

I think I have a solution for this:

I know you will be choosing the pumpkins very carefully, but they still won't all be equal. Number each one with a tag around the stem and have the kids draw numbers for the one each gets. You probably shouldn't put the numbers in marker on the bottom, as I saw done once, because some carvers lay the pumkin on its side an use the stem as a nose, which would make it unattractive from the back.

hobish

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Re: Pumpkin Carving/Birthday party
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2012, 01:06:57 PM »
I'll be inviting about 20 kids, so that could be pretty pricey if I buy them, plus I don't want fighting over the pumpkins.

I think I have a solution for this:

I know you will be choosing the pumpkins very carefully, but they still won't all be equal. Number each one with a tag around the stem and have the kids draw numbers for the one each gets. You probably shouldn't put the numbers in marker on the bottom, as I saw done once, because some carvers lay the pumkin on its side an use the stem as a nose, which would make it unattractive from the back.

What a great idea.

My BFF and I do a yearly trek to a school for kids with behavioral problems and do a day of pumpkin painting and carving. There are usually anywhere between 7 Ė 12 kids aged 12 Ė 16 (I think? Maybe 15? There are older kids there but they donít usually participate.) I never thought about the kids fighting over pumpkins. Honestly we were more afraid of giving them sharp implements as some of them can be violent, but the school gave us the ok. Not once have we ever had a problem. Itís a lot of fun, too. We get the little pumpkins; they are a little tougher, but way cheaper, especially if you get them in bulk.

I would think if you are having a pumpkin carving party you should provide the pumpkins. It just seems wrong not to.
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kakack

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Re: Pumpkin Carving/Birthday party
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2012, 01:08:21 PM »
I think you have to supply the pumpkins but the money will be well spent if you consider that carving them is the main focus of the party (instead of bowling or going to the movies) and that they can act as favors (instead of a bunch of toys/candy/etc)

  POD

OT but related:

I also want to know how you handle 20 kids, or people of any age with pumpkins and sharp implements. I know many adults who couldn't behave at a mass pumpkin carving.

Where to you hold it? I can't imagine cleaning up my back porch, which is the only area in my home large enough to hold
a party like that.

I really admire you!

I admire you.

Re the wrangling of 20 kids - adults are invited also, to help their kid carve.  Most of the kids are neighbors, so I know their parents will definitely come.  My parents will be helping as well.  Carving tools are the kits you can buy, so no major sharp knives.  Kids range in age from 3-10, so the older kids are capable of doing simple designs.  I hold it in the back yard, which opens onto a large field (no fence), so everything is outside.  Kids get to run and play, while we adults will help them carve their pumpkins and then indulge in some light adult beverages.

MOM21SON

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Re: Pumpkin Carving/Birthday party
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2012, 06:00:24 PM »
Instead of a CARVING party, could you have a pumpkin painting party? You could get smaller pumpkins, and then googly eyes, paint, glitter, etc, and let the kids decorate them like that.

I think you do have to provide the pumpkins if you bill it as a birthday party.

This is exactly what I was thinking.

QueenofAllThings

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Re: Pumpkin Carving/Birthday party
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2012, 06:44:44 PM »
dissenting opinion - I think it's perfectly fine to say to each guest "Bring your perfect pumpkin, gourd, etc!" - I personally like to carve oddly colored pumpkins or weird looking gourds. If one child prefers tall & skinny, another likes small & cute, and a third likes round and ginormous, why not let them bring their own? Less drama. The number picking would work, but kids are kids and you want to avoid "I like yours better!"

You provide the tools, goody bags etc and maybe, as a nice gesture, the little battery-operated candle to go in it.

jpcher

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Re: Pumpkin Carving/Birthday party
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2012, 06:53:10 PM »
While I tend to agree that since it's a bday party you should supply the pumpkins, I have a few thoughts/questions that put me on the other side:

1. You said that you've done this for several years already. Do the people bring large pumpkins? Several pumpkins? Is this the day that the family carves all of their pumpkins for display? Or do they only bring one small pumpkin for their child to carve?*

2. It sounds like this has turned into somewhat traditional fun party for your neighborhood. Depending on your answers to the above, I don't know that changing the rules by providing only one small pumpkin per child would be the way to go.

3. I like O'Dell's thought:

The other option (and what I'd personally be inclined to do) is to not make it known that it's a b-day party, and bill it as a pumpkin carving party. Proceed as normal and just have the cake as an extra surprise. That would mean no presents for the b-day boy, but so many kids don't need/want the gifts.

But that might surprise the guests and make them think that they did something wrong by not bringing a gift. ("Oh! You should have told us!")



I think you'll be fine with the guests bringing their own pumpkins so long as you kick it up a notch or two with food, games, kiddie prizes, etc.



*If the norm is that everybody brings only one small pumpkin, then I think you should supply the pumpkins.





QueenofAllThings posted while I was typing . . . I agree with her.

hannahmollysmom

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Re: Pumpkin Carving/Birthday party
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2012, 12:53:38 AM »
I think you need to provide the pumpkins. They don't have to be large. Small ones would probably be easier for the kids to handle. I would also clean out the "guts" ahead of time.

My oldest was born the week of Christmas. One year for her party, I made up little ginger bread houses out of graham crackers, and had candies for them to decorate. It went over big. (Don't ask me about cleaning up all the frosting (glue) after though... ::))

kakack

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Re: Pumpkin Carving/Birthday party
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2012, 11:29:56 AM »
While I tend to agree that since it's a bday party you should supply the pumpkins, I have a few thoughts/questions that put me on the other side:

1. You said that you've done this for several years already. Do the people bring large pumpkins? Several pumpkins? Is this the day that the family carves all of their pumpkins for display? Or do they only bring one small pumpkin for their child to carve?*
People generally bring the pumpkin they will be putting out front of their house, so it will sometimes be a large pumpkin, depending on how elaborate their design will be.

2. It sounds like this has turned into somewhat traditional fun party for your neighborhood. Depending on your answers to the above, I don't know that changing the rules by providing only one small pumpkin per child would be the way to go.
Many people will bring a pumpkin for each of their children. DS's BF has younger twin siblings, so they bring 3 medium size pumpkins, so each child has their own.

3. I like O'Dell's thought:

The other option (and what I'd personally be inclined to do) is to not make it known that it's a b-day party, and bill it as a pumpkin carving party. Proceed as normal and just have the cake as an extra surprise. That would mean no presents for the b-day boy, but so many kids don't need/want the gifts.

But that might surprise the guests and make them think that they did something wrong by not bringing a gift. ("Oh! You should have told us!")
I can't think of any child turning 7 that doesn't want presents at their birthday party.  DS would be HUGELY disappointed not to get presents.

I think you'll be fine with the guests bringing their own pumpkins so long as you kick it up a notch or two with food, games, kiddie prizes, etc.
I'm doing a bounce house plus other games in addition to the pumpkin carving and supplying goodie bags as well.  I always end up having more than enough food and drinks as well.


*If the norm is that everybody brings only one small pumpkin, then I think you should supply the pumpkins.





QueenofAllThings posted while I was typing . . . I agree with her.