The Day After

For many of you this day is, unfortunately, another day at the office. For those lucky enough to not be at work, it may be a huge shopping day with all the after-Christmas sales. I’m not one to barge out the door at 5am to hit the sales. I am in no need for leftover decor, sweaters with holiday scenes depicted on them, and picked over toys. If I do any shopping today it will either be a quick jaunt to check out the shoe sale or online at a few of my faves.

Today is a holiday for us and another day at home! If you live with and/or are married to someone from Great Britain, Australia, the Netherlands, or a few other far away lands, you may have the benefit of celebrating Boxing Day. I’d venture to guess that most Americans have no idea this exists, let alone what it’s for. Even my English hubby wasn’t sure of it’s reason or origin.

Boxing Day is not recognized for cleaning and packing up remains of the tornado that hit our living room, nor is it a day for duking it out with relatives who have gotten on your nerves these last few days.

The holiday was originally called St. Stephen’s Day and was a day for giving to those of lesser social standing. For example, the lord of the manor would box some money or a liquor and hand out the gifts to his serfs. It was a day to give gifts to tradespeople much like we, of future generations, give a gift to the delivery person or the mailman, or like us, tip even better when we’re dining out. Not to suggest that we/I feel these people are of lesser social standing…it’s just a way to give random kindness to those who make our lives easier.

For my hubby it meant another day of Christmas and gifts as they went to one grandparent’s house on Christmas and the other on Boxing Day. For us it’s just another day at home and lots of playing with toys, eating left overs and, yes, boxing up the remains.

However you spend this day, think about going back to the old tradition and handing out a bit of random kindness and generosity. The day will be brighter for that person, and you as well.