Saturday, December 26, 2015

Tied Up With String by Grace Burrowes

In the United Kingdom, today is Boxing Day. A lot of tradition surrounds this occasion, some of which you can read about here. I'd like to see a few aspects of Boxing Day go viral, maybe as an antidote to all the (cyber-) acquisitiveness we're encouraged to show elsewhere in the month.

The basic idea of Boxing Day is that after spending Christmas at home or with friends and family, Boxing Day is a day to Go Out, usually bearing gifts to more friends and family, sometimes to co-workers, employees, or the less fortunate. In days of yore, this was a day for the great houses to throw open their doors and provide hospitality to neighbors from many walks of life.

My take aways?

First, don't limit Christmas to one day, or to a holiday that ends at midnight on December 25. When I was small, my oldest brother was serving in Vietnam. Every year, on December 25, there would be a 24-hour cease fire, and then on Dec. 26, the war would resume. That drove me nuts (and still does). If we can find our humanitarian and tolerant impulses for a day, we can find them for a week, a month, a year. Keep the Christmas candle lit in your heart, even when the world insists it's April 15.

Second, especially at this cold, dark (and for many us DAMP) time of year, to get up and move is a Good Idea. I am using the holidays to frolic my way through a rough draft of manuscript, which means a lot of sitting, and many of us have also been sitting at the groaning board. Time to get outta the house!

Third, extend the cheer of the holidays by bearing gifts after the holiday is over. When I'm having a
stink-o rotten day, one surefire way to turn my mood around is to extend kindness to others. At the grocery store, on Facebook, wherever I am, I can share a figurative smile. Works every time--it's empowering to me, and probably helpful on the other end, too.

Fourth, if there's an occasion for joy, connection, and socializing in our lives, somebody will try to make a buck off it. Boxing Day sales rival Cyber Monday for their loudness. That's OK, but let's be joyous and connect anyway.

Those are my Boxing Day take-aways. What aspect of Christmas would you like to keep with you all year? Is there a way to do that? To one commenter, I'll send a signed copy of Daniel's True Desire.... talk about keeping Christmas in your heart!

Happy Holidays!
Grace

9 comments:

  1. Being kind to everyone - not losing one's patience. I find a smile is all that is needed in most cases and it costs you nothing and comes right back at you (hopefully lol).

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    1. EXACTLY. My took long walks around her neighborhood well into her 80s, and made it a practice to smile at everybody. Mom is not the most congenial soul, but when I asked why she did that, her response was, "I have it to give, and for some people, it might be the only smile they see all day." Love my mom.

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  2. I'd love to keep the peace, joy and love with us all year round. I'm with you--if we can stop war for a day, why not for longer? It was so wonderful to see my church packed at Christmas Eve mass--no doubt Sunday's mass will not be as crowded. (But oh how I wish it would be!) Thanks for the post, Grace.

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    1. If you're going to attend one service, that's usually a lovely one, but I know what you mean. Some of my favorite memories of church were Midnight Mass. Maybe if every service were that special...?

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  3. The aspect of Christmas that I'd like to keep with me is charity. Many people think of others during the holidays, but then they forget about them the rest of the year. I'd like to keep those less fortunate in mind all year long.

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    1. I'll second that suggestion! When is being kind and generous EVER a bad idea, after all?

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  4. Wonderful blog! We always call all of our family members at Christmas. I wish we would keep in touch more throughout the year.

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  5. We need a great deal more kindness and charity these days. When someone is kind - especially when it is unexpected - it makes your day so much better and makes most people more likely to be nice to other people. Even small acts of kindness and charity can have larger effects down the line.

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  6. kindness
    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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