Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It's Over

For a few weeks the Playfriends have all blogged about shopping and decorating and baking and cleaning and partying and all the other things we do to get ready for Christmas. Then, in the course of twenty-four hours it's all over.

In Great Britain, December 26 is celebrated as Boxing Day. This has nothing to do with heavyweight bouts or being at the front door of WalMart at 7:00 AM to return that chartreuse-plaid bathrobe your Great Aunt Tillie gave you.

The exact origins are not clear, but the most common story is that the holiday began in the Middle Ages. Servants had to work on Christmas Day but were given the following day off. As they left the manor, their employers presented them with gift boxes. Hence, Boxing Day.

I have no servants, so in our house, it's usually the day we clean up all the wrappings and ribbons and yes, empty boxes, and put away all the gifts we received. And we eat turkey sandwiches and leftovers from the big meal the day before.

Actually, this year I wasn't at home on Christmas. I've been at my mom's celebrating with her. The DH and #2 son were at home playing bachelor. The last I heard they were going to watch Live Free or Die Hard on the big TV and go to Cracker Barrel for Christmas dinner. We'll have Christmas with #1 son, DIL and BabyGrand this Saturday.

I had an interesting Christmas Eve. Around 1:00 PM my sister called and said "We're going to go have dinner with Uncle Bill and Aunt Phyllis. You want to go?" I said "Well, sure," and off we went. That may not sound like anything out of the ordinary, but you have to understand that our aunt and uncle are wintering in Myrtle Beach, which is 351 miles to the northeast -- a 6 hour drive.

My sister's husband bought his own single-engine plane a few months ago and he and my nephew are both licensed pilots. So at 2:23 we took off and at 3:51 we landed at Grand Strand airport in Myrtle Beach. We visited, we ate dinner, we visited some more and at 7:57 we took off again and flew under a full moon back to St. Simons Island where we landed at 9:26. Wow! The real "wow" though was watching my 22-year-old nephew piloting the plane and listening to him talking to the various air traffic control towers. We were also very careful to stay out of Santa's flight pattern.

I'm learning that as I get older, I'm more flexible and open to celebrating things differently. This was the first time in 34 years of marriage that I wasn't with the DH on Christmas, but it was Christmas nonetheless. We'll still have a celebration; it'll just be a day late. He spent weekend before last having an early Christmas celebration with his mother who lives in a retirement home in South Carolina. Our mothers are both in pretty good health, but who knows how many more Christmases we'll have with them?

I'm posting my blog early because I have to go to bed early because I have to get up early and head for the Jacksonville airport. I'm flying back home. Keep your fingers crossed for on-time flights and smooth skies. Just in case, I've loaded my Starbucks card and I have leftover scones in my backpack along with a paperback romance.

So was Santa good to you this year? Tell us what was in the boxes he left under your tree. And have you cleaned up all the ribbons and bows yet? I still have gifts at home to open once I get there.

P.S. Can somebody tell me if you actually DO anything special on Boxing Day? Or is it just another bank holiday where you sit home and watch the telly?


Marg said...

Here in Australia it is a huge sporting day - the cricket starts as does the Sydney to Hobart yachting race.

It is also the biggest shopping day of the year here, with the stocktake sales all starting!

When I was younger our family used to always spend boxing day together. Everyone went to the in-laws or whoever on Christmas Day and then we would always get together for a relaxed day. Now that I live in a different city that's not the case anymore sadly.

Jen said...

PM, what a lovely, lovely time you've had. The flight to Myrtle Beach sounds wonderful! Here's wishing you a safe and prompt trip home today.

And I have my giftwrap and boxes all together to take to the recycling center today.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I dont do anything on Boxing Day.

And yes, Santa was v.g. - got a Texas Holdem poker chips set and lots and lots of gift certifs.

Too much food as always with everyone.

Dad didnt want to leave nursing home for dinner with us - so we all visited, brought gifts, a hot Christmas dinner and Ital. pastry.

Pat L.

Problem Child said...

I celebrated Boxing Day by sleeping late! WhooHoo!

Angel said...

Merry Christmas a day late! I didn't get to comment yesterday because it was non-stop from the time we got up at 7am.

We opened presents with our children, got showers, then it was off to the races. But only figuratively.

We hosted 8 extra people for brunch, then had all of them plus a couple more throughout the day at our house. The kitchen was open all day, bouts of Rock Band, Wii, and cards kept everyone busy, and I had to occassionally take 10 minutes in my bedroom to escape the constant noise.

But we had a blast! Exhaustion kicked in about the time the last group left at 8:15pm. Children to bed, check through our presents, then vegging in hubby's arms in front of the tv.

The awesome thing about my presents? I got both the presents I coveted at the HOD Christmas party: My hubby bought me a hot chocolate maker with its own electric stirrer/frother. My sister bought me a sign that says DREAM gilded in gold. Awesome!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I get to spend today emptying out our storage unit (because it is the only day hubby can help). :) Pray for me tomorrow. We start Potty Training!!!!!

Enjoy the leftovers and rest!


Kathy said...

What an adventure you're having, PM! Very impressive, indeed.

Good luck with the potty training, Angel!

Ah! The collective sigh of relief is heard world round. Christmas has come, joy has been shared, family has gathered round the tree... wonderful, wonderful. Now, at last, rest can be found for the weary.

A trip to see Sweeney Todd and Johnny Depp today will be a delightful addition to my holiday. Another collective sigh, this one much more passionate, resonates world round.

Playground Monitor said...

I'm back! Y'all must have all had your fingers crossed because my flights were on time and the skies were smooth.

Now I just have to unpack. Ugh!

Good luck with the potty training, Angel. Keep us posted on Little Man's progress. I remember those days well.


Lis said...

In Canada Boxing Day is usually the day of the big sales, but I didn't go out shopping. Had enough of that on the wknd. :o)

Bows and paper were picked up yesterday as we unwrapped, my dad grabs it all as every present goes so there's really no big clean up.

Santa could have done better lol But I pretty well knew everything that was going to be wrapped and under the tree anyways. Got a few new t-shirts and a calendar.

Instigator said...

Ah, the day is finally over. Along with purchasing a new (new to us) truck I spent the afternoon in the doctor's office trying to get a 3 yr old to give a urine sample. Considering the last several days I've had I'm almost ready to go back to work tomorrow :-)

But watching the girls open their presents yesterday was well worth the hectic days leading up to Christmas!