Published: December 20, 2017
BY JENNIFER PARSONS
In less than a week the stockings will be hung, the eggnog will be drank and the recycling bins will be filled with holiday wrapping paper rolls and toy boxes. After weeks of preparation the excitement will all be over and in a blink of an eye it is Boxing Day, my favorite day of the year.
This is our last edition of the Northern Sun News for 2017 and we have done our best to bring you not only updates the last week’s hot topic issues but coverage of the holiday cheer and the big charitable acts our community always seems to muster.
We are closing up shop this week for a much needed break which has me checking my holiday list twice and hoping there is enough eggnog to make it through spirited toasts of the season while offering everyone in the community a Merry Christmas and a Happy Boxing Day.
Boxing Day is a significant holiday for people with ties to Great Britain. The holiday began more than 800 years ago during the Middle Ages and gets its name from alms boxes, which were collection boxes that were kept in churches to collect money for the poor. On Boxing Day, the boxes are traditionally opened so that contents can be distributed to needy people.
Boxing Day also references a time when servants of affluent individuals were given a day off so they could spend time with their families. The servants normally would have to work on Christmas, and Boxing Day was their respite. These servants may have been given small gifts and boxes of leftovers to take home. December 26 also marked a day when postal workers, butchers, milkmen, and other people who plied their trades might collect their Christmas box or tip.
Boxing Day celebrations in modern times are quite different from those of the past.
Today, Boxing Day provides a chance to shop sales and exchange gifts received on Christmas. However, people can put their own unique spins on the Boxing Day festivities.
While doing some research this week I came across a few suggestions for observing the traditional holiday such as paying homage to the early traditions of Boxing Day by filling boxes with food or belongings before donating them to charity or heading out horseback riding in honour of the feast day of St. Stephen.
When you come from as large and fractured of a family as I do holidays take on a life of their own. By the time I wake up on Boxing Day I am exhausted and downright excited about the prospect true day off from obligation and commitment (clearly there will be no horseback riding for me).
Boxing Day can be enjoyed in many different ways. I plan on spending the day in Santa’s gifted pajamas, finding some rum for the last of the eggnog, loading up a movie marathon something in the Die Hard/Godfather genre and shopping for new boots.
When we return in January we have a provincial election, a municipal election, an operations budget review, the legalization of cannabis, Trump-Trump and more Trump and many more delightful news items to look forward to. Use what you can of what is left of 2017 to rest up and get ready.