The roads and restaurants are crowded with holiday pilgrims making their way to special destinations. Joseph and Mary started the tradition years ago. All the inns had “No Vacancy” signs posted when the weary couple reached Bethlehem. And wouldn’t you know it? It was time for Mary to give birth to her first Baby. Wow! Joseph was feeling a bit of stress in that stable playing doctor. What a way for a Baby to enter the world and what a story!
Just a few days ago I was in Saint Albans, West Virginia. I arrived there years ago carrying 1/2 gallon bottles of something for a grocery store. That was my purpose and I thought my work was done until a lady took me from the stack of boxes in the store and placed me in her car. We drove up the Coal River and turned onto Brown’s Creek then down a dirt road to a little green and white house. The lady was packing her belongings to start a journey of her own. I was the one chosen to carry her Christmas and Thanksgiving decorations, quite an honor for a simple cardboard box. One day her son carried me out of the green and white house and placed me in an orange moving truck. He was very careful to make sure I was on top the pile since the items inside me were something he called “Mom’s Heirlooms”.
We made the trip back down the Coal River to the town where my story began and where the lady had a new home. I was left at the side in a stack of boxes as the truck was unloaded and waited. At last it was my turn to enter the house. What a nice place! It was summer so I was given a place of honor in the attic. No one needs Christmas decorations in July!
I sat for months in the hot and cold then in October the attic door creaked open and there was the son moving boxes and searching for something. Me! He carried me down the stairs and left me in the lady’s living room. I sat for weeks wondering where I was heading. One day the lady unpacked me, retrieved her heirlooms, and left me empty in the back room. Last week, the lady loaded me with brightly wrapped packages, taped me shut and we were back in the car. I was left at the post office on West Main Street beside the Coal River. There were many boxes with me in the post office, all traveling for Christmas.
It was dark in the trucks as I was transferred from place to place over the next few days. I was all shook up a couple of times like the guy in the song. One morning I was moved to a little white jeep and driven up one street and down another for hours. We passed so many houses. Late that night I was placed on the porch of one home and the postman drove away.
Someone picked me up and I was surprised to see the lady’s son. He took me inside and unpacked me. I sat empty in his living room until this morning. The guy took me to the front porch and took pictures of me, something that never happened in any of my previous travels. What a strange man!
Now I am flat and stacked with other boxes in the garage. I have been flat before and think there is one more trip in my future – to the recycling facility. There I will be bundled with other cardboard and sent off to be remade into a new shape. I might become another box or some other packing material. And I can begin my travels again.
Maybe I will bring Christmas to your house next.