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The Terrible, Awful, Frightening Task of Un-Decorating

We get really into Halloween at my house. This is partially because it’s my youngest son’s birthday, and partially because it’s my other sons’ favorite holiday. I’ve come around on it, and with their prodding, over the years, we’ve amassed a substantial trove of decorations.Handmade garlands of spooky pumpkins drape over doorways.

Cotton cobwebs, liberally sprinkled with spiders, crowd into the corners. Ripped cheesecloth drapes over shelves and curtain rods. Bookshelves feature skulls and homemade bats and popsicle stick haunted houses — plus pumpkins, pumpkins, and more pumpkins.

Our table linens feature friendly ghosts and dancing skeletons. Table runners. Placemats.

Door covers. Flags.It takes two days or so to put everything up.Then I have to buy real pumpkins.Then we have to remember to carve them. We usually put this off and put this off and put this off because we’re afraid the Jack o’ Lanterns will rot, and then it’s Halloween night and we have no Jack o’ Lanterns and, yes, we have carved them on November 1 many times and only God can judge me because we had to go trick or treating.[Free Download: How to Prioritize This Holiday Season]But even as I put up the decorations, my heart is sinking.

Because, though I know the kids love them, I also know I will have to take them down. This part is not fun. This part is not exciting.

No one sits around and claps as you untangle cobwebs and cut down cheesecloth and repack Rubbermaid tubs full of spiders. So we put it off because we all have ADHD and we don’t like to do tasks that don’t hold our attention.The skulls take on a more sinister, more mocking look as we near Thanksgiving. We ignore them.The door cover rips and flaps in the chilled breeze.

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