Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” ~~ Luke 2:11-12 NIV
What does December 2009 and December 2010 have in common for me? Moving.
Last year we loaded up our home of eleven years and moved 430 miles. Yes, in December for my husband had to report to his new job in January. We rented a home in the area we decided we wanted to live for our son to attend school.
After one year we have learned the area, researched the schools, and bought a home. So again we move, but this time only six miles down the road. This move feels a bit easier because I am moving a little bit at a time and I can still see all my stuff. Whereas last year, everything except the absolute necessities was packed securely in boxes.
Interestingly I have been forced to learn something about Christmas I don’t think I would have learned any other way.
Not by choice, these last two years I haven't seen my Christmas decorations. The halls of my home are not decked. I hope the manger scene made the move without broken pieces, but I haven't seen it since I packed it away after Christmas in 2008.
Because of the transition last year and this year, decorations are not the priority. We have a purpose greater than then decorations which is the completing transition. During this time of transition, the focus shifted from decorating, cooking, and purchasing gifts for exchanging with one another to spending time together during the move.
Family gathered together to accomplish a goal but still taking a little time out to celebrate the greatest gift of all -- the Savior. The move has been a sign for me to focus on family.
After the birth of the Messiah, an angel appeared to the shepherds and told them they will find a sign. Not the dashing flashing lights we see as we drive through the neighborhoods this time of year, but a baby wrapped in cloths and placed in a manager because there was no room for them in the inn. The simplicity of the Savior's arrival could have been missed, but the angel told them what to look for.
In the years past, I often have taken the most meaningful things for granted. Such as the smile on my husband's or children's faces when I prepare a delicious meal or snack. Or the joy we share as we prepare food all huddled together in the kitchen. The hugs when wake up in the mornings. The laughter expressed while we pause to play board games.
As of today, the boxes holding my Christmas decorations are waiting in my new garage. After we move furniture this weekend, as a family we plan to put out only a few selected items in our new home just days before Christmas.
Previously I allowed my life at this time of year to become complicated with lots of added stress. Though circumstances have forced me to see the sign and keep to the basics, I hope the simplicity will become a new tradition (but not the moving)!