I am packing up our Christmas decorations today. But it is different this time. This is the last time I will take our stockings from this mantel. The last time our nutcrackers will grace this kitchen window. The last time our beautiful nativity sets will be taken down and boxed in this house. The last time Cyrus will pull ornaments off a tree in this living room.
We are putting our house up for sale in a couple of weeks and will be moving to Tennessee to start a new, exciting life this summer. This old house has seen eleven Christmases. Eleven years of putting up and taking down Christmas wreaths while dressed like Mikey from A Christmas Story. Eleven years of lovingly hanging ornaments made from little Jansen hands on beautiful trees. Years of shrieks and laughter and prayers on Christmas mornings.
I am boxing up those memories and preparing them for a long move. I write FRAGILE on the boxes but I realize that what is really fragile are the memories. They are sweeter and more precious than anything I can put in a box. And I am eternally grateful for each one.
It is hard to pack it all up not knowing where it will be unpacked. But I do know that wherever it goes, the warm memories go with it. And every Christmas as I open the boxes, these pieces will bring the familiar memories and stories and tears and laughter that were collected in this old house. It will be like unpacking blessing after blessing. Nutcracker. Blessing. Ornament. Blessing. Baby Jesus. Blessing.