December 26, 2002
December 26 is a legal holiday in Canada.
It's a holdover from our days as a British Dominion.
I don't know much about the holiday, and according to various web sources, I'm not alone.
More often than not over the past twenty years I've been in the 'States this time of year, and have almost forgotten there IS a Boxing Day.
But this year I'm being paid to stay home so I used a few seconds of that time to find out why.
It seems the holiday is really the Feast of St. Stephen who was the first Christian martyr.
It's not precisely known where the "Boxing Day" name came from but generally believed to have to do with the custom of bestowing gifts upon the lower classes the day after Christmas.
Perhaps a sort of early regifting practice.
Or perhaps not.
As a child I found the name confusing. It couldn't have to do with the sport of boxing - that wouldn't make any sense at all. Perhaps it had to do with the "Boxer Rebellion" but that was a summer thing in China, not a winter thing in England.
So I supposed it was for "boxing" up the gifts you wanted to return and getting out and doing so.
Although a legal holiday, the stores customarily open around noon on December 26 for SALES.
The housemate used to prowl for bargains when we were first married but even then I wouldn't tolerate the rabid crowds.
The $10 he might have saved in 1976 doesn't mean too much to me now.
For some reason, in Quebec the day after New Year's Day is also a holiday.
I don't know why.
I just spent about ten minutes unsuccessfully trying to find out why, during which I learned that it's known as
The Day After New Year, a public holiday and a traditional holiday.
I guess it takes Quebecers longer to recover from their celebrations.
In any case I'll be sleeping in again next Thursday which is fine with me!
Speaking of sleeping, it looks like musical beds for me tonight.
Rob is prowling around with three friends, one of whom is in from Ottawa, and was part of that gang until his family moved away six years ago.
They're threatening to take over our basement (aka my room) because they've slept over too many times already at the others' houses.
So I might be consigned to the punk rock shrine.
Good thing I don't have any trouble getting to sleep these days.
One more thing:
If you have any emotional energy to spare, Carol needs your thoughts, wishes, vibrations, prayers, or whatever it is you do.
Her mother was recently hospitalized for routine surgery, and as happens all too often, one thing led to another and she's seriously ill right now.
Two years ago, you all helped me (and maybe even my Dad) tremendously when we were going through this, and I hope you can do the same for Carol.
In fact, I know you can.
In the course of my unending quest to find intriguing, amusing, and informative Linques du Jour, I came across this image.
What is it?
I'll tell you next entry but first please send me your guesses, via email or the guestbook.
As if I have to tell you that!
All you'd ever want to know about the history of Christmas lights, including the "pre-electric" era!
Very comprehensive.. a lot of work went into this.
Way to go, Bill in Tennessee!
One year ago:
Travels with my Kids
Two years ago:
Nineteen Miles from Somewhere
Three years ago:
Graphics courtesy of