My colleague Ian from YANKEE signed off an email message to me today “Happy Boxing Day.”
He was making fun of me. Of all Canadians.
Apparently there is no such thing as Boxing Day in the U.S.A. They call the day after Christmas “the day after Christmas” and just go on along as though nothing special was happening.
My American colleagues seem to think its odd and quaint that we have such a holiday here, and yet that we cannot accurately express exactly what the holiday is all about, or what special rituals we conduct on that day (save “putting out the Christmas boxes at the curb,” which is the default answer).
We have the last laugh though, of course: they will be at work on Boxing Day and we will not.
Pete: This information on Boxing Day is from, shockingly enough, Yankee Publishing:
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This holiday derives from the Old English custom of giving Christmas “boxes” to tradesmen, postmen, and servants. The original boxes were usually made of earthenware and contained money, which could be retrieved only by breaking the boxes open. These days, a gift of money is usually contained in a greeting card and given before the holiday. Where celebrated (Great Britain, Canada, and Australia), Boxing Day is welcomed as a quiet day of recuperation from the season’s hectic festivities.