It seems like many of my recent posts address the recent transitions of my life like spending Advent as empty nesters and musing on the why's and what if's of Christmases past. Tonight I had another little epiphany about my current state in life. As I begin to pack away Christmas ornaments I don't really have to pack them away so that they are ready to move across the continent on a moment's notice.
For thirty years I carefully secured every single ornament so that it could withstand a military move. Even though the last nine years of my husband's career were spent in the DC area I was always prepared for the announcement that we would be moving again. My husband has been retired for three years now and we are not planning on leaving our current home for the foreseeable future. I probably don't have to make sure every breakable ornament is cradled and cushioned. Barring another rogue earthquake, once the boxes are put on the basement shelves they will not be moved again until Advent of 2015.
The thing is I am not sure I can break this habit. Many of these ornaments are like old friends. They have hung on our Christmas trees in Upper Peninsula Michigan and in Florida. They have seen Christmases in Georgia and Christmases in California and several spots in between. I don't think I can just carelessly fling them into a box. There is something comforting about packing them away for the year and something joyous about unwrapping them as Advent begins. I know they are inanimate objects and will be totally unaffected by their state of storage, but their state of storage emotionally affects me. Taking a little time with the ornaments gives me a little more time with the memories they contain. Maybe all the wrapping I have been doing over the years was less about ornaments withstanding the rough and tumble handling of military moves and more about me withstanding the rough and tumble realities of military life.