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?