Canadians observe Boxing Day, which is a pseudo-holiday the day after Christmas. Tradition-wise, it sprang from the custom wealthy Brits had of bestowing boxed gifts on their servants the day after Christmas. Nowadays it is a bank holiday and in Canada, it’s taken on the added burden of being our version of the American “Black Friday” consuming fest.
For us, Boxing Day consists of sleeping late, lounging in robes and pj’s for the bulk of the remaining day and in general, being lazy sacks.
We exceeded even our lax expectations yesterday. Neither Rob nor I crawled out of bed until the latter half of the morning. Dee was near to famished by the time I got up and found that she’d run her new iPod to fumes and was back to playing with gift bags and boxes in the living room. Although she is perfectly capable of preparing a simple breakfast for herself, she had her eye on the left-over blueberry pancakes and egg, bacon and hashbrown casserole from the day before and she isn’t allowed – yet – to use the microwave.
The day was leisurely in pace and devoid of productivity save the relentless deconstruction of Christmas displays in the house.
Boxing Day marks the end of the Christmas season in our home. The tree, window decor and outdoor holiday decorations came down late in the afternoon after Rob and I found enough inner initiative to get dressed and cracking.
It’s not just a practical thing. The tree was near to kindling even with regular watering and so a hazard. It also becomes a bit of a nuisance, encouraging gifts to loiter about rather than find new homes in drawers or on shelves. Unless one has a compelling religious reason for keeping it up, or other holiday gatherings in the offing, a tree after Christmas Day takes on the aura of a ripe house guest or a tarrying relation.
So the house was swept clean of Christmas but for the gingerbread houses and the compost awaits them. Gifts have, mostly, found their places. With a soccer tournament looming this week, it’s better to have the more onerous clean up tasks completed so that we can devote proper attention to the serious lounging of the New Year’s weekend ahead.
It doesn’t feel like winter yet. Just five days past Solstice and it seems oddly spring like, an illusion of course but I will take it.
My only concession to the Boxing Day gorge took the form of setting up my new eReader and downloading books with the assistance of a gift card. The reader’s a gift from the older girls and the card was from Rob, who knew what they were up to.
I’ve resisted readers for a while, but I’m converted now and currently immersed in Game of Thrones. My only lament is that I can’t easily skip about and read the ending chapters without screwing up the bookmarking. A small thing in comparison to the ease and loss of clutter.
The day ended with Dee’s soccer tournament in the city. Not a big fan of children’s hobbies that require more of the parents than the children in terms of effort, but less of a fan of the inane notion that children benefit from empty praise, which is handed out to Dee and her teammates in abundance. They blew a lead at the half – that they frankly didn’t deserve given the mediocre effort – and simply didn’t show up in the second half after the opposing team managed to score on them.
They are a tiny bunch. Only a few of the girls have height and only one of them has any bulk, so many of them still struggle with the physicality and the size intimidation thing. But nearly half of them are also still terrified of the ball itself, cringing away from it whenever it flies at or even by them, and only about four of them have a kick that would scare a cat. The rest toe kick like …. well …. like girls, and I mean that in the derogatory sense.
I like the coach personally. She knows the game and it’s good for girls to have girl coaches, but she is forever praising them when they don’t deserve it. One of the reasons, in my opinion, that boys progress so much faster in sports is that their male coaches tell them when they’ve played poorly, explaining exactly what they didn’t do and then practicing the crap out of them on those very skills at the next practice. I coached for years and I taught for years more, and empty praise is one of the worst motivators. Smart kids see through it and are resentful and slower kids end up frustrated and resentful.
That aside, Boxing Day 2011 was a good one. Hope yours was as well.