When it comes time to light up your pumpkin, you have many ways to do that nowadays. Decide if you will be setting the lit pumpkin outside and for how long, or if you will enjoy it as an indoor decoration this holiday.
One way is to cut out the top of the pumpkin in a small circle containing the stem in the center for a handle. Slant your knife inwards, forming a circle that is bigger in circumference than the inner part of that same circle. When you have completed the cut all the way around, you will have a top that fits on and doesn’t fall through, thus staying on top.
Then, you will proceed to scoop out all the inner pulp and seeds. This a messy job, so do it outside or inside over a table covered in newspaper so you can just roll it all up and into the garbage when you are done.( Don’t forget to save the seeds minus pulp if you will be roasting them later on for a snack.) Now proceed to carve the pumpkin as you like.
To light the pumpkin, you insert a stumpy candle into the inside bottom, either by cutting a notch for it to fit into or by buying a stick-in candle holder to support your candle. These can be purchased in most stores around Halloween time. You would definitely save this candlestick piece year to year.
You will carve out the bottom of the pumpkin; the diameter of the opening must easily accommodate the size of the jar candle. You do not have to worry about putting the piece of pumpkin back into place; you will not need it again. Just make sure, after you scoop out the innards, as above, that the pumpkin sits squarely on a flat surface and will not roll over. You want it to be self supportive. Then you will try on the jar candle by placing the pumpkin over the unlit candle jar.. if it fits good, you can move on the carving you pumpkin design.. At the back of the design, near the stem, but just behind and an inch or so down, you need to cut a hole about two inches around as an exit for the heat of the candle. This way the candle flame will not burn the top of the pumpkin on the inside.
Another way is to use a battery operated light that you can insert into the pumpkin in place of the candle. This light can be one of the imitation tea lights used at Christmas which is rather dim for all but the darkest nights out side, or use one of the new pumpkin lights made especially for Halloween as they are much brighter. They also have an option for blinking or steady light operation. You can carve the opening to place the battery light in either of the above ways. This light is one of the safest to use and will only cost you another battery if you forget to turn it off at night.