Saturday, December 27, 2008

My First Boxing Day

Christmas always seems to me to pass too quickly, so an extra day of eating and celebrating seemed a great addition to the holiday. Boxing Day, apparently, began sometime from the middle ages. Most sites suggest it is related to the tradition of giving tradesmen their annual wages in goods that were boxed. One suggested it might also refer to monks opening the poor boxes to give to the needy.

December 26th is also associated with St. Stephen, the patron saint of horses, and the Stephen in the first line (the only one I know) of the carol, "Good King Wencelas went out on the feast of Stephen, when the snow lay round about deep and smooth and even." This morning on the radio I heard a bit more about what Wencelas was doing. He was, in keeping with the tradition, giving things to people who needed them. I hope he did so with a glad heart even though he might have had cold feet in all that snow.

I celebrated my first Boxing Day with my new extended family and a couple far flung friends here in the north. Coming from a small family myself, it is an adventure to discover anew the complex, multi generational threads that make up a fuller family. Seeing siblings as adults allows me to imagine what they were like as youngsters, a part of their life that happened while I was half a world away sitting in a classroom in Indiana. Story by story we put together enough of the past to give the present its colour and the future an outline.


Post a Comment

<< Home