Monday, December 26, 2016

#BoxingDayCheer

Happy Boxing Day, everyone! Have you got your gloves on for boxing today? No? That's not what you're supposed to do? That could explain some of the weird looks I was getting today...

Kidding, kidding. I've lived in the UK for 9 years and have got my definition of Boxing Day properly sorted. In our family it usually means a long walk with the dogs, turkey curry and drinks starting at dinner instead of at lunch. For some it's a shopping day, although not all of the shops are open because it's officially a bank holiday. For many, it's a continuation of Christmas Day with family or friends and an attempt to make a dent in the turkey leftovers. (Turkey is the traditional Christmas dish and is generally unavailable the rest of the year. In January, this seems like a good thing, but I start to miss it eventually.)

Wikipedia says Boxing Day dates back to the 17th century and began as the day when servants or "errand boys" (Were there also "errand girls"? Wikipedia is woefully incomplete in this regard.) could expect to receive a Christmas box filled with food, gifts and even cash to share with their families as thanks for services throughout the year. In Ireland, Boxing Day is also St Stephen's Day. Saint Stephen was the patron saint of horses and, before fox hunting was outlawed in the UK, Boxing Day fox hunts were held throughout the country. Boxing Day is still a popular day for fox hunting, as certain types of hunts fall within the parameters of the law. (I've seen a few hunts around where we live, but they're "drag hunts", which means the dogs and riders are chasing a scent, but there's no actual fox being hunted. It's both an impressive and imposing thing to see.)

Anyway, fox hunting or bargain hunting...meh. My favorite explanation of Boxing Day is this one from The Guardian: The origins of Boxing Day lie not in sport, but in small acts of kindness.

Christmas, for those who celebrate it, is often expressive and loud full of grand gestures and a quest for perfection (the perfect gift, gravy, turkey, outfit, etc, etc.). It's lovely...but exhausting. No one's up for waking up to do it again the day after, but what if we all went out of our way to do one small kind thing? Pick up a piece of trash from the path. Wave at a passer by. Let the person behind us in the check out line at the grocery store go first. Buy a suspended coffee for a stranger. Something as simple as tweeting someone a complement (or letting an author know you loved his/her book!) takes seconds, but its impact lasts a lot longer. 

In a way, it's the last thing you want to do after a full-on Christmas Day when giving is the order of the day, but maybe small acts of kindness are a way to keep the spirit of the season alive a little longer? It's pretty late in the day here in the UK (And cold. And rainy. And I'm already in my pajamas.), so I'm going to head on over to social media to spread some #BoxingDayCheer. Won't you come on over and join me?

6 comments:

  1. Turkey curry always, always reminds me of Bridget Jones (Turkey curry buffet!). Happy Boxing Day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha. It's quite a thing here. Probably everyone I know here will be making a turkey curry at some point this week.

      Delete
  2. Thanks for the post, Brenda! I always did wonder what Boxing Day was all about. While I did actually do kickboxing on Boxing Day, I also get to spend time with family. I'm not sure I achieved a Random Act of Kindness that day (unless you count holding the door open for people, but I always do that), so I'll have to try and do something by the end of the year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kickboxing the day after Christmas? You win the prize for motivation!

      Delete
  3. Great post Brenda, I just watched Bridget Jones, a favorite Christmas tradition! Now it makes so much more sense. Love the idea of kind acts in a tired and exhausted world. This is just what I needed. Cheers to the blessings of Boxing Day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love Bridget Jones! Cheers to you, too and hope you're entering the new year feeling recharged!

      Delete

 
Blogger Template by Designer Blogs