Saturday, December 26, 2009

Today is Boxing Day!

In Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand (and in some other countries, as well), the 26th of December is “Boxing Day.” This started many years ago when the wealthier would give gifts to the working class and the poor. Tradition says that gifts were given in boxes, hence the name.

Now it is a bank holiday and businesses and families will give to charity on this day or find an individual family to help.

It is also St. Stephen’s Day in the Catholic (and other) religion. It is a tradition, especially in Ireland, to catch a wren – somehow a wren is connected with Stephen, the first Christian martyr. In the past, children would catch a wren, put it in a cage and take it around to houses, begging for food. They would threaten to kill the wren if they didn’t get food. They would then release the wren at the end of the day, as no one would NOT give in to the “threat.”

No matter what day it is called, it is considered a special day after Christmas. People will use that day to continue the celebration of Christmas by visiting friends and having parties.

In my opinion, it is NOT a day to go shopping. Been there, done that! I was convinced (when I was young and foolish) to go shopping and return a movie that was defective. Never again! It’s a day that lives in my nightmares! I would rather go shopping on “Black Thursday” than on Boxing Day! And I will never again (another foolish day) go shopping on the day after Thanksgiving!!!

Norm and I spent a very quiet Christmas here. It’s the first time in our married lives that we have been totally alone for Christmas and it was pretty neat.

We’ve gotten that snowstorm that I’m sure nearly everyone has heard of. The “Storm of Record” …. The “Storm of a Quarter Century.” Well, we didn’t get the wind that South Dakota has had thank goodness. Our wind was blustery and we did get drifts, but not the 25-foot drifts that were forecast (and I’m sure some places have them). We started getting snow on Tuesday morning with a break, then until Wednesday night. I THINK it’s stopped snowing now, but we do get a few flakes once in a while. Our total here at Ash Lane Farm is about 22 inches.

Norm used the snow blower and cut paths to the barn and to the shed and kept the driveway clear (well, sort of). He cut paths every day and every day they were blown in. Yesterday he got the “new” 4-wheel drive pickup out for it’s first run, put chains on it and today he cut / busted his way out of the driveway into the lane then busted his way from the connection from the lane to the county road. He’s now at the Farm – having to bust his way into there. He now has the tractor there running and is cleaning up some, then will drive the tractor home to clean up here. Our tractor is kaplooie again … and Norm has gotten so frustrated with it that he finally has said “new tractor!” Well, new used, to be factual.

So now I’m alone – sort of! With 4 dogs, you are never alone. We are caring for Candy and Wayne’s dogs while they are in South Dakota for Christmas with the folks. They hopefully will be home on Monday, if the storms and wind are over and the roads are open. We will go over to their place this afternoon to check on the cats; we couldn’t go over because not only were we stuck here but their lane was filled with snow, too. We called their neighbor and asked him to plow the road so we could get in. Hopefully the cats will be fine, as we went over and gave them extra water and extra extra food. They have a nice garage with heated beds for sleeping and keeping warm (not that it was that cold this week).

So now, at noon, it’s almost 20º out, the sky is getting brighter and the wind is totally still. It is a beautiful day – I hope you survived your part of the storm (if you got one) and are having a beautiful day as well.


Linda said...

Thanks for your interesting comment on my blog about your New Year's memories.

smallpines said...

Totally agreed on Boxing Day not being a day to go shopping, but then again, NO day is a day to go shopping as far as I am concerned. Thanks for the info on this! We always sort of hang around home and play games on the 26th. I think I'm going to have to start calling the day by its proper name.

Thanks for the comments and advice on the stove!