Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Twleve Nights


Well, it’s over. Christmas has come and gone for another year.
But has it?
Today is Boxing Day, a traditional United Kingdom holiday.  The usual lore is that masters gave Christmas presets or “Christmas Boxes” to their staff the day after Christmas. This usually included the day off so that servants could visit their own families to exchange gifts. Boxing Day is a less formal holiday, with people dropping by for a snack or a drink.
The British also let their eccentricities out on Boxing Day. Like our Polar Swim Clubs, there are swims and dips in the icy waters around Britain—often in fancy dress—rubber ducky races and beagling—a sort of mock fox hunt on foot.
It’s also a day for giving alms and remembering the poor, a day when churches traditionally opened their alms boxes and distributed the money to the needy.
Shopping has become a Boxing Day passion recently.  Although it’s a national holiday, with public offices closed, shops and malls are open with lots of after-Christmas sales.
Remember the Twelve Days of Christmas?  Well, Boxing Day is the first day, the day of a partridge in a pear tree.
Despite popular belief, the Twelve Days of Christmas begin Dec. 26 and run until January 6, Twelfth Night or Epiphany. This is historically when the Magi arrived to give gifts to Jesus and is one of the oldest Christian feast days.
What this means to people like me—people who know that Christmas is ALWAYS on December 25, but never finish preparations in time—is that I still have twelve days to get cards written and mailed, some gifts bought and sent, some friends visited, some phone calls made. 
I’ve been celebrating Twelfth night for several years, once I figured out this means I can keep my tree up and decorated until January 6.  Twelve more nights of the wonderful glow in my living room, twelve more days of the piney smell in the house and twelve more days before I have to face taking down and packing up all the decoration until next December.
Ah, the Twelve Days of Christmas.  Bring ‘em on!

Michele Drier’s works include the paranormal romance series, The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles.  The first two books, SNAP: The World Unfolds, and SNAP: New Talent, received 4 stars from PRG.  The third and fourth books, Plague: A Love Story, and Danube: A Tale of Murder were given 5 stars. The first four books are now available in a boxed set at Amazon and Kobo. Book Five, SNAP: Love for Blood, published December 15, has already received 5-star ratings on Amazon and Goodreads.  She’s writing SNAP: Happily Ever After? for release in summer 2013 and a seventh book in late fall 2013.
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4 comments:

  1. "What this means to people like me—people who know that Christmas is ALWAYS on December 25, but never finish preparations in time—is that I still have twelve days to get cards written and mailed, some gifts bought and sent, some friends visited, some phone calls made."

    You've given me just what I need: permission to sign, address, and mail the Christmas cards I bought last week. Thank you so much!

    The history of Boxing Day is interesting. Now I know how it got its name. I've always had an image of boxing matches, which didn't seem quite right.

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  2. You're welcome! I'm very fond of Twelfth Night; even those who get everything done by December 23 or so still have twelve more days to celebrate!

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  3. I love this idea. I never get all my stuff done by the twenty-fifth either. I had never heard of boxing day before today, but this is the third blog I've read on it. See how much you can learn just relaxing and catching up on blogs? haha.

    Hope you have an awesome twelve days of Christmas!!

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  4. Maybe if I'd read this before Christmas, I wouldn't have felt so stressed. But then it's the days before and on Christmas Day that we exchange gifts and get together for sharing food together so that wouldn't work. If I put off Christmas cards until after Christmas, I'd probably prograstinate until it was too late to send them at all.

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