It’s Boxing Day!

boxing

Yes, Boxing Day. We don’t really celebrate it in the U.S., and believe it or not, it has nothing to do with boxing, but it’s still an interesting day. I love the idea of it. I first learned of Boxing Day from some English friends when I lived in Germany. It seemed to me just to be a day to hang out, go visit friends, maybe go to a play or a movie, just have fun and recuperate from Christmas. What’s not to love about thatto comm?

As I understand it, Boxing Day is celebrated in the U.K., Ireland, Australia, and maybe China. I vote we adopt it in the U.S. too. What do you say? Couldn’t we all use an extra day to play?

A couple of years ago, I asked some British friends about the origin of the day. Most of them had no idea, but one said it was a carryover from a Victorian tradition, that it was traditionally a day that estate owners gave their servants a box of fruit or other gifts as a sort of thanks for the servants’ having had to work on Christmas. This article from The Telegraph confirms that concept, but it appears that there is more to it.

Boxing Day was also a day to commemorate Stephen, the first martyr in the Bible, stoned to death for his faith (in the Bible you can read his story in the book of Acts). It is his feast day, for Catholics at least, for whom he is known as St. Stephen. St. Stephen is the patron saint of horses, so it therefore follows that the day was then sometimes dedicated to fox hunting.

Fox hunting was outlawed in England in 2004, but I don’t think it has died out. That is something that I would love to see…not that I want to see a fox killed, but it seems that that is a small part. I want to see the horses, and all the people all dressed in their gear…Does that put you in mind of Downton Abbey? It does me…and that makes me think, maybe I need to spend a sewing day binge watching. But I digress.

Perhaps some of my English, Irish, Chinese, or Aussie friends will enlighten me  further about Boxing Day. There appear to be variations in how it’s celebrated. And again, I vote that we adopt it in the U.S.

I hope that those of you who celebrate Christmas had a fabulous day yesterday. And if you celebrate Hanukkah, that you’re enjoying every minute of it. Our Christmas was wonderful. We did go to church in the morning and came home to have my parents come for dinner. We all ate a lot, and yes, there was pie. I made an apple pie, a pecan pie, and a chocolate meringue pie. Yes, from scratch. Since I used a new recipe for the pecan pie, my husband asked me to go back to the old way. Oops. But I must tell you, that chocolate meringue pie was fabulous. And who doesn’t love apple pie?

This year we did a lot fewer gifts than normal, and that kept things sane. My mother gave me a box of Chanel No. 5 talcum powder. What kind of luxury is this? I reminded her that she gave me my very first bottle of Chanel for Christmas a gazillion years ago (1984, maybe?), and it remains my absolute favorite to this day. I have a thing for fragrances, and really love a lot of them, but this is the one that I return to time after time.

My husband bought me a copy of Hillbilly Elegy, a book that has been on my wish list for a while…and I hadn’t even told him I wanted it! I am looking forward to reading it. I just finish Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea, so I am ready to dive in.

One of the most fun things I got was an Echo Dot from our son. I was so surprised! Setup was super easy and I already had it playing music within minutes. After dinner we managed an interesting conversation with that little woman who lives inside there. Since I switched my phone from iPhone to Android, I had really misssed Siri, and this may just take care of that.

As for me, I am off to draft a petition that the U.S. allows Boxing Day to become a national holiday. Not really, but I would sign the petition if somebody else created it. I’m off to have some pie and then go sew.

How are you spending Boxing Day? Whatever you’re doing, I hope you thoroughly enjoy it. Until tomorrow!

  • Wendy Tuma

    Count me in on the petition! I’d love one more day to play and celebrate 🙂 Funny, we just gave our son an Echo Dot. It’s an interesting little thing; I’m thinking it would be fun to have one in my quilt room. Hmmm. Let us know what you think of the book!

    • Lori East

      I hope your son enjoys his half as much as I do mine. It has already become something of a necessity. Ahem.

    • Lori East

      I hope your son enjoys his half as much as I do mine. It has already become something of a necessity. Ahem.

      • Wendy Tuma

        Haha!

  • Chloe

    Oh Boxing Day is the day of Christmas oblivion! Speaking as a recently relocated Englishwoman in France, I have fond memories of this day as a time of settling in to Christmas proper… after the flurry of presents and the weight of food, this is the magical day of play when games are played and leftover food consumed, all at a relaxed phew-the-main-event-is-done-now-let’s-quietly-enjoy-ourselves way. It makes perfect sense that historically this would have been the day when the servants would have been rewarded too – I often think that I ought to somehow thank the people we ‘see’ every week, even if we are not of the noble classes of bygone times: the people who bring our post and take our rubbish away… Boxing Day for me embodies the perfect “It’s a Wonderful Life”idea of Christmas for me. A time for taking stock; sitting back for a day or two before the New Year is welcomed in.

    • Lori East

      Oh, Chloe, thank you for speaking up on this. I was hoping you would!

      I suspect that what my family does must be some sort of carryover tradition for us…from my time in Europe to his English bloodline. We love to have a day (or sometimes two) after Christmas for just that, playing games, yes, eating the leftovers, doing puzzles, and just having a lull in our otherwise crazy-busy lives. I absolutely love it and feel it’s necessary. That doesn’t mean we always get to do it, but this year we are very much enjoying some serious downtime. I hope you are too!

    • Lori East

      Oh, Chloe, thank you for speaking up on this. I was hoping you would!

      I suspect that what my family does must be some sort of carryover tradition for us…from my time in Europe to his English bloodline. We love to have a day (or sometimes two) after Christmas for just that, playing games, yes, eating the leftovers, doing puzzles, and just having a lull in our otherwise crazy-busy lives. I absolutely love it and feel it’s necessary. That doesn’t mean we always get to do it, but this year we are very much enjoying some serious downtime. I hope you are too!