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Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Day of Giving

Another morning....Yep, another day to try and figure out what the hell I'm doing here on this big, blue ball in outer space?! Actually I'm just fooling around with that statement, though that is one of THE great questions of all time. The fact is that the place to answer the question "What am I doing here" might be a Master's Thesis or Doctorate in Philosophy or Religion, perhaps Science. Some would say why ponder it at all, the answer is already in your heart and if you are a Christian or Jewish or a Muslim , etc. you would already know that. But for me, that would be biting off way more then I'm capable of chewing at this time in my life (or certainly at this time of day!) 

Often after I get going in the morning my mind turns to to this blog and I start considering what I may write about for my next post. Some times I have something already in mind that I want to cover but more often then not I sit down and the words will just come out by themselves. I think that a sharp, discerning reader realizes that today is in fact one of those days! I do enjoy this process very much because quite often what I end up with in a post will surprise me as much as anyone.

Today is a Sunday and it is also the Day after Christmas. As a young boy there was often a rather melancholy feeling to the "DAY AFTER" Christmas. It was like the fun was now over, all the anticipation, the dreaming and speculating...poof, they were gone. All that was left was to count the days left until I had to go back to school....Vacation OVER. That was definately a big Downer and a very negative way of looking at things for a 9 year old boy, right?!! Yet I remember thinking that way...of course New Years provided a little respite but it certainly wasn't as exciting or magical as Christmas, no way!

All that being said now and remembered I have to now think about how I am going to approach this day from now on. I don't like the notion that you have this big build up to Christmas the BOOM, big bummer right afterward. No, that doesn't seem right. I think there must be a better way to approach the day following Xmas.

Boxing Day. There you go, the Brits have the right idea. Boxing day is a term I've always been familiar with but honestly I never really understood exactly what it meant. There are several explanations of it's origins but I'll steer clear of writing a book about it and just quickly explain what I do now know about it. It is a Bank (or Public) Holiday, observed in the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and some others. Basically it is observed today as a shopping holiday, a day off work but also as a day to perhaps focus on the less fortunate. Stories going back to the Middle Ages of  certain Kings or Landowners Boxing up left over food after Christmas and having it delivered to peasants in the villages of their Realm. Hmm, it's kind of nice to here some news of good and charity coming out of the Middle Ages...Then after the goodies were delivered, the rape, pillaging and be-headings would begin! Ok, I know, that was in poor taste....

I really like the idea of focusing on those less fortunate the day AFTER Christmas. Why? Because I think as a Country or society as a whole, America/Americans do a great deal of charitable things throughout the year. But we do tend to focus on it right before Christmas. I suspect we might let down a bit in our focus on the poor and unfortunate as soon as the holiday has passed. We are tired, burned out on Xmas and we just want to hunker down, get the holiday bills taken care of and move on.

So I like the idea of thinking of others on this day after Xmas. I really shouldn't need a special day to remind me to be charitable and giving of myself but hey, whatever it takes. Sometimes I need a little kick in the pants to motivate me to do the right thing...So from now on, it's Boxing day for me.

It is no longer the DAY AFTER Christmas, nope it's Boxing Day, a day where old Thom here starts to focus on someone other then himself. Plus It should be fun going around today wishing everyone a Happy Boxing Day and having folks wonder if I've lost my mind or not....


  1. December 26: Good King Wenceslaus looked out on the Feast of Stephen.....
    This is St. Stephen's Day and there really was a Wenceslaus, Duke of Bohemia born in 907. His act of charity is why today has traditionally been a day of charity for the poor. Like most things about this holiday season, it has been subsumed in the commercial (Boxing Day Sales!) far from the original intent.

  2. I had a sneaking suspicion that you might help me out here 8^)...Thank you so much for that bit of background information, Basinah. That is why I feel such a personal motivation to re-focus on the original intent of St. Stephen's good Day. Of course there is no better place to start then with one's SELF!