The chaos is officially over. At least until next year. No more Bing Crosby White Christmas, no more Elvis Presley Blue Christmas. All the horribly redone Christmas carols are no longer blaring in every store you visit. Heck, they’re even starting to put out the spring stuff; so not only can you get a 7 foot high cashmere Christmas Tree for 50% off, you can already get a head start on what kind of garden gnome or gazebo you’re gonna put in the backyard.
So, back in my home country of Canada, December 26th was Boxing Day. And I honestly have to say, that after 30 years of living in the frozen tundra of the north, I still have absolutely NO idea what the heck Boxing Day is all about. Wikipedia has defined it as: a holiday traditionally celebrated the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts, known as a “Christmas box”, from their masters, employers or customers, in the United Kingdom, The Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, Bermuda, New Zealand, Kenya, South Africa, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and other former British colonies. Yeah, sure I’ve heard that is the day when people commonly take boxes and stuff back, but then, most retailers will tell you that every day is boxing day since people just don’t return stuff on December 26th. They even tried to turn December 26th into a Boxing Day holiday and have the stores remain closed; that worked for all of like one year since everyone just got bent out of shape and renamed December 27th the day after Boxing Day. It was a vicious cycle, and fortunately, some genius convinced the rest to just let December 26th be the official Boxing Day or before you know it, Boxing Day would have become the day after Canada Day, and returning Christmas stuff in July is well, just plain silly.
Secretly, all us kids were hoping that Boxing Day would be just the picture on the left; a day of Boxing. One year, my friends and I decided that instead of a snowball fight on December 26th, we were going to have a Boxing Day Snowball Fight, which basically consisted of taking a bunch of snowballs and putting them in a box, then you just tossed the whole box instead of just the individual snowballs. Silly, yes, but it was sure fun. It stopped of course when the boxes began to resemble bomber planes.
But in the end, it was Canada’s national sport that took care of our desire for boxing on Boxing Day. The NHL decided to broadcast at least one hockey game on the Canadian networks, and they timed it well so that the game started right after the Boxing Day dinner feast! Granted, there was some football on that day as well, but nothing beats a good boxing match during a hockey game!
One year on Boxing Day, my dad got both me and him a pair of boxing gloves and figured we could have a boxing day of our own. Well, I always sucked at boxing and when he was whopping the heck out of me, I begged and said, “how about we just watch the Leaf hockey game instead?” The boxing gloves got hung up once and for all and we just became content to watch the hockey players get mad and box the heck out of each other on national television instead.