Welcome to the third edition of “a thousand words”. This story is called “Halloween Sparklers and Jack-O-Lanterns”. While a picture is worth a thousand words, sometimes actual words can help to add context. Here is what this photo is saying.
Halloween is a fun and spooky time; especially for your little ones! However, Shawn and Lindsay Johanssen take Halloween very seriously at their Vermont hobby farm. They make decorations for weeks ahead of time, and they include their children in the fun. This past year, they decided to try out sparklers for Halloween to see if they add something special to their favorite time of year.
Though there are many holidays for using sparklers, Halloween is not the most common one. Let’s face it; it’s all about costumes and candy for most kids. However, after taking the leap, it’s now a new Johanssen family tradition.
A Little about Shawn, Lindsay, and the Kids
Lindsay is a “boutique” organic farmer; producing vegetables for a few local restaurants. Though its hard work, it allows her to stay at home for the most part to stay involved with the children. She has been into crafts since she was a young lady, and that fuels the projects she completes with the children in preparation for Halloween.
Shawn is a traveling salesman for a fitness equipment supplier. His work can keep him from home for a few weeks or more at a time, so he savors his family time to its fullest. Each year, he takes 3 weeks off to prepare and enjoy their favorite holiday. He loves to carve very intricate designs into his pumpkins, and makes his own costume each year.
Shawn and Lindsay have 2 children, Gracie and Samuel. They are 5 and 7 years old, and they love Halloween as much as their parents! After a quick bout of trick-or-treating, they like to return home to bring joy to others. Helping with the decorations and handing out candy is a labor of love to them!
Sparklers for Halloween
Each year, the Johanssen family hosts a large gathering for friends and family. Campfires, hot cider, and classic ghost stories have long been the tradition here. However, this year they decided to try sparklers for Halloween. When they normally light their jack-o-lanterns, they celebrated with a few sparklers, too. This picture is of Gracie, Samuel, and their two friends doing just that. It was a huge success, and that’s why it has become a new tradition each year for them.
What the Photo Doesn’t Show
Unfortunately, it’s what you don’t get to see that makes any great photo a memorable one. There was a lot of preparation that went into to everything you see. The pumpkins you see in the foreground are not real pumpkins; they are carved from foam by Shawn. They last much longer, so he can invest a lot of time and use them again the following year. Each year, he carves a new one to add to the collection. Of course, the whole family carves real pumpkins as well; but the foam ones are a cool way to have a larger display.
Additionally, the parents had to educate the kids on how to handle their sparklers safely. Supervision is obviously crucial, but explaining things is a huge factor. On top of that, they needed to acquire sparklers for the event. That’s not an easy task in Vermont during the autumn! Fortunately, we were able to help them out.
Choosing the Right Halloween Sparklers
Picking out the right Halloween sparklers can be a little tricky. People are often impulsive when they make this type of purchase and don’t spend any time researching the product. Though we mainly specialize in sparklers for weddings, we have a variety of options that are suited for your needs. However, you need to break down your specific needs. Here are a few things to consider.
How Many Kids Will Be Attending?
Knowing the number of guests is a vital part of picking out the right sparklers. If you are having only a few kids at the event, you can choose pretty much anything you’d like. However, for larger groups, a thicker and longer style is the best option. This will also help with determining how many you should buy so everyone can participate.
Color or Regular Gold Halloween Sparklers?
Many people prefer color sparklers over regular gold ones, but they aren’t always the right choice. Color sparklers can sometimes be brittle and drop chunks of hot ash on unsuspecting children. Conversely, gold ones are much more consistent and are by far the safest option. If you are hosting an older group of children, color sparklers are fine. However, for younger children; you should stick to the gold varieties.
The Importance of Steel Instead of Wood
The most important thing to remember is that sparklers made from steel wire are superior to ones made from wood. When giving them to children, this is even more important. Bamboo versions are notorious for dropping large chunks of hot embers and ash. This is simply not possible with steel varieties, and that is why it’s such an easy choice. Though there are several types of sparklers available, steel wire is the best option.
Safety First When Involving Children
Though I mentioned it before, safety is a huge point of emphasis. Kids can easily get lost in the moment, and that’s when accidents can happen. However, there are two key things that you can do to ensure a safe experience for everyone.
First, you need to educate the kids. Explain to them what is acceptable and what is off limits. This will work wonders. Second, you need to take your supervision role seriously. If you aren’t prepared to watch closely as your children use their sparklers on Halloween, you’re better off skipping it. You need to be checked-in to provide guidance if they become careless. By being involved and educating them, you can have a very safe and exciting celebration.
Overall, Shawn and Lindsay’s family had a wonderful time using their sparklers. Next year, they may even consider pairing them with sky lanterns. They were nice enough to share their story with me, and allow me to share it with our readers. A special “thank you” to the Johanssen family!
Though this is just a simple photo, the memories and the story behind it will last for a lifetime. What may only seem like a picture can mean so much more to the people who were there. Shawn and Lindsay put a lot of passion into Halloween beyond just sparklers, and it culminates to a fun experience for their guests. I can’t wait to see the pictures from next year’s event!