Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Rhys's Twelve Days of Christmas, Day 8

If you were waiting for today's Christmas trivia, I apologize. Life intervened. After breakfast I went to run the dishwasher and nothing happened. My dishwasher had died before we had people to lunch today and 12 people to lunch tomorrow. Hasty trip to Sears to find new dishwasher, then had to rush to prepare lunch.
Now they've just left and I'm late with my Christmas fact of the days. And  I was going to talk about BOXING DAY.

In England and all commonwealth countries the day after Christmas is a holiday called Boxing Day.
Why the name, you might wonder. It goes back to the time when people had servants (I wish I had one right now to do all that washing up). Those servants were expected to minister to the family on Christmas Day. Then the day after Christmas they had the day off to go home to their own families, if they lived close enough. They'd each receive a Christmas Box from their employers. In the case of servants it might be food to take home, a present of some sort or money.

The tradition of giving a gift to those who perform a service is carried on. Mail carriers, garbage men, newspaper boys stop by to wish you "the compliments of the season." And they expect to get a tip.

Until recently no stores were open on Boxing Day. It was a time to relax and enjoy a quiet time with family (and eat leftovers). In my book The Twelve Clues of Christmas there is a traditional Boxing Day hunt.  Now, alas, commerce has triumphed. Stores and movie theaters are open and life goes on as usual.

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