In Canada where I grew up, Boxing Day is a holiday. The source of the holiday apparently comes either from, you spent all day in church on Christmas and then on the next day you opened your gift boxes, or the day after Christmas you gave gifts to your staff or the aims box in the church was opened to help the poor.
Boxing Day was always my mother’s favorite holiday. After the frantic chaos of Christmas, the rushing about to get those last perfect gifts, the late-night wrapping, the too-early rising, and then the preparation of a feast for all the relatives, to her Boxing Day was like a dream vacation in the Bahamas. Nothing had to be accomplished, there were enough leftovers to feed half the city, and the kids had plenty of new toys and books to keep them busy and out of her hair.
Sometimes the neighbors dropped in with a small gift and the expectation of a glass of good scotch and a plateful of Christmas baking. Even as a kid, I remember the smells, the calm after the storm, the unchecked raids on the refrigerator for my favorite foods. All the stores were closed so there was nowhere to go. Adults and children alike lounged around, reading, chatting, or perhaps going outside for a cheerful snowball fight.
Nothing else in my memory quite compares to that day-long languor of more than enough.
And so I am going to try and officially reinstitute Boxing Day in my life. Some of my family has to work (this is NOT a civilized country), but I will not get in my car to run errands or look after anything. Instead, I’ll hang out in my pyjamas, eat leftovers, savor a few too many Christmas cookies, read a novel, and try not to be particularly productive.
I may think over Christmas, think about how the gifts I gave and received are the tangible expression of the love within my family, sip a glass of good scotch (you are so welcome to drop by!) and start mulling over the year past and the year to come. I will remember, savor, and anticipate the good things in my life.
And so, if you can’t come by for drinks and treats, I send you my wishes for a day of peace and comfort, a few quiet moments to drop out of the hectic world, and an open door to experience all the blessings of past, present and future.
Here’s to you!