Did you know that spending time with your kids is one of the best deterents to illegal drug use and crime? No? Well it is. And right now what could be more fun than decorating pumpkins? If you don't like the mess of the gutting and carving, then pull out some water colors, markers, crayons or paper and glue and go to town.
Buy everyone a small pumpkin and have a jack-o-lantern decorating contest. If you have small kids then team them up with a parent or older sibling. Afterwards have an awards ceremony and find something positive about each creation and give awards for the scariest, silliest, most colorful, best use of materials... Then find a great place to display your jack-O-lanterns, pop some popcorn and relax and watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
And I promise you that if you do these small things with your kids that they will not think you sound like the grownups on Charlie Brown.