The Christmas Story and the Relocation Industry


In my role I have had the opportunity to visit some locations around the globe that go far back into ancient times. Seeing a 2000 year old inscription on the wall of Pompeii portraying the moving company of the city bringing goods into town is pretty fascinating to an old mover. Because of these types of experiences I have marveled at how far back the logistics, moving and relocation industry go in history. As we are now in the middle of this year’s holiday season I am reminded of the story of moving, relocation and logistics within the Christmas story. The story of Christ’s birth as told in the books Matthew and Luke involve a lot activity related to our industry and it may provide some insight in to our roles today.

The Forced Local Move – Mary and Joseph travelled about 70 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem. My wife and I have moved 13 times over the course of our marriage – twice while she was pregnant. Since my family has experienced our industry several times ourselves it’s not hard to be reminded that we move people’s lives and we move them in different states of mind, different family situations and different circumstances. The first move of Mary and Joseph’s married life was created because of tax reasons. Imagine telling your pregnant wife that you need to move back to your family town so that the government can tax you more!

The Need for Temp Living – There is more to a move than just the household goods. There is also the need to find temporary accommodations. It’s important that the first few nights in a new location are warm and inviting. Some customers however have extremely high expectations. I once received a complaint from a corporate executive because the thread count on the sheets in his temporary apartment weren’t up to his expectations. He wanted our promise that we would have Egyptian cotton on his bed by that night.  In the case of that first Christmas they had to settle for a barn that likely looked more like a cave and their new child’s bed was a trough for cows (possibly made in Egypt too but certainly not comfortable, warm or without its share of germs.) Expectations have come up a bit in the last 2000 years.

Logistics on High Valued Cargo - The Wise Men travelled from somewhere outside of Israel from possibly modern day Iran or Iraq. They followed a star in the sky with an unknown destination. They travelled through little villages and remote locations. In our world they should have been carrying significant insurance on the gold, frankincense and myrrh that they were transporting and likely would have had security in place. In the manger displays that now grace lawns of banks and town halls the Wise Men look like pretty passive guys but they were more likely the ancient version of the Expendables.

The Short Fuse International Move – When the Wise Men came through Jerusalem they stopped in for directions from Herod the King. Since middle eastern dictators haven’t changed much in the last two millennium, Herod was willing sacrifice his own people to try and eliminate the threat of a future king. In order to avoid Herod’s men, Mary and Joseph took the young child and escaped at night to Egypt creating a second move in short order to a country they were not familiar with. While we don’t often work with refugees any situation that creates two moves and happens on short notice only increases the level of stress and possibilities for problems if we are not on the top of our game.

So as was finish up another year in the moving, relocation, and logistics industry remember that there is always story behind the families, shipments, and relocations that we are involved in. . . .and some will even change the world!

Merry Christmas!

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