Friday, December 26, 2014

Stretchiiiinnnggg Out Christmas

Boxing Day.  The simplest comparison?  Commonwealth nations?  Boxing Day? The United States?  Black Friday!

This December 26th holiday was so named all the way back in the Middle Ages 'tis said. 

The custom arose because servants were required to serve the family on Christmas Day, so the next day they were all allowed the day off to visit their own families.  Kindly families packed boxes of useful items to take with them and off they went!

It was also customary to tip various shop holders and special markets for their services during the year.  Whether the donors went to their places of business or the owners showed up at your front door - oops, servants entrance - eager hand stretched out to anyone who answered the door is unknown, at least by me. 

Today is our second Boxing Day, a tradition I hope to keep going.  It's a great way to get rid of all of the fattening treats - the candy, cookies, seasonal cakes... I particularly like having an open house the day AFTER Christmas when the stresses of shopping, cooking, wrapping and partying is over for that year.  I like to think that our guests will enjoy having nothing whatsoever to do but show up, have a drink or three and eat appetizers that they didn't have to cook. 

It should be a relaxing time because the dress code is "casual" - the hostess is wearing gray sweats and Uggs, for an example.  The time should be spent in gleeful chatter -- "Look what I got!" followed by a thorough discussion of probable cost and degree of difficulty of acquisition.  This is certainly a throwback to the best part of a party for me -- analyzing it afterward.  "Did you see?"  "Yes! and what about ....?"

I mention all of the above about Boxing Day because one of our guests RSVP e'd back, writing "It's unusual, but if you and Richie want to go a couple of rounds, I volunteer as your cut man."

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