Decorating pumpkins for Halloween is one of the more time-honored traditions associated with the holiday known for its sweets and treats. According to Irish lore, rooted vegetables carved with scary faces were created to ward off evil spirits. When Irish immigrants first made their journey to America, the Jack-o-Latern was one of the many traditions that came with them. The only difference was the pumpkin, a food native to North America, proved to be a better fit for the ghoulish grins than a potato or beet.
For this week’s #HalloweenHappyActs, we figured there was no way not to make decorating pumpkins part of the fun. Much like our #HappyActs campaign during the month of March—where we encourage people paint a message of kindness on a rock for someone to find—painting positive messages on pumpkins is a festive way to incorporate acts of kindness into the Halloween festivities.
Instead of dressing up your pumpkins as witches, ghosts, or zombies this year, we encourage you to try creating messages of kindness and happiness. That way, when trick-or-treaters or passers-by see your happy creations, they will be left with feelings of joy that they can spread to others.
Taking part in traditions, such as decorating pumpkins for Halloween, are a great opportunity to spend time with friends and family, increasing our social interactions. These types of activities increase our sense of purpose, activate those happy hormones that make us feel good, and give us strength in our personal connections that let’s us know that we are not alone and we are all part of something bigger.
It’s also a chance to tap into your creativity while spreading messages of joy to others. Research suggests that being more creative makes us happier. This is true for both children and adults, but kids are more likely to use their creativity more often. So, ignite the creative fire from within and also inspire in others that giving makes you much happier than getting.
Science suggests that prosocial actions, such as acts of kindness, have a greater benefit to your overall well-being when practiced often and intentionally. This is not only good for your own personal happiness, but the kindness makes others happier too. Help us spread more joy this October by taking part in our #HalloweenHappyActs campaign.