BOSTON (CBS) – It’s the day after! The day after Christmas is always so anticlimactic. The buzz, the excitement, all gone. The stores are packed with shoppers returning things and trying to get just one more good deal. But I couldn’t bear to fight the crowds and parking today no matter how great the bargains are.
And today is a holiday so I am celebrating. Being Irish we celebrate whenever we have an opportunity. Today is Saint Stephen’s Day in Ireland but mostly it’s known as Boxing Day. Check it out on your calendars and you will find the small print declaring it Boxing Day. This is a national holiday in some countries, the UK, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand but unfortunately not here. In Poland, Germany and the Netherlands it’s the Second Christmas Day. Having two days off for Christmas sounds good to me.
The name does not come from that pile of now empty boxes you need to either put in the attic or recycle. And it is not two boxers punching it out in a ring. Why do they call that square with a fence around it a ring I wonder?
There are several different theories on the origin of Boxing Day. One story is it started in England when the Lords had servants that lived in the far reaches of the estate and they would come together for Christmas with the master and the day after they would leave with their “boxes” filled with their annual allotment of goods like spices, leather, cloth and coins. Another legend had it that employers would reward servants by putting coins in boxes for them to take home. And still another is that well off gentry would box up items for the poor and distribute them the day after Christmas. I figured that was another way to get rid of the fruitcake they did not want.
I plan to spend the day organizing closets and cupboards to see what we can give to the local food pantry and Goodwill. And when we downsized a couple of years ago we incorporated a house policy, if you get something new something old must go. So if you got two great new sweaters two old ones need to go to the Goodwill. It does keep closets from overflowing and it really does help the Goodwill. Drop off your stuff at one of the Drop Off Centers and get a receipt for the items you are donating. It’s a deduction for this year.
Cleaning closets is greatly enhanced by a hot toddy or some mulled cider.