being separated from our british ancestors by about 18 generations, we didn't celebrate boxing day when i was growing up. in fact i'd never even heard of this day-after-christmas-holiday until i was an adult person fully intrigued by every kind of established festival wrapped around december 25th. over the years we have introduced a few substantial traditions to our winter holiday until the parenthesis around christmas day now stretch from october thru mid january. i am forever attempting to convince others that christmas is a season, not just a day (for someone who celebrates her own birthdays all thru the month of august, this is to be expected). anyone can take the seed of a known ritual and create a unique custom that becomes meaningful to their own holidays. there are so many ways to make our own deep connection to the cycles of the year. i like that. so on this boxing day we do have a bag or two on the porch, stuffed and ready to be donated to our favorite charity. when the snow stops we will load up the old volvo and drop them off. we will think of all the generous goodwill that has come our way and pass it along as best we are able.
but mostly today i will be tidying up my work space. it's a good time for me to reflect on the past year (and decade) and consider plans and pathways for the coming new year. handling every box, tin, photo, scrap of paper, cloth and string piled up on my work table becomes a meditative process. projects begun and set aside are revisited, rearranged, sorted and often completed.
the tree will not come down today. the twinkle lights, ornaments and tinsel garland won't be packed away for another two weeks (sometimes more). we will happily continue listening to christmas tunes and watching the last of the classic movies on our list. a slice of panettone will be served with morning coffee until the final crumb is consumed. and you may catch us digging down to the toes of our christmas stockings for those elusive milk chocolate coins in the long chilly evenings ahead. and we will still wish you a happy holiday when we pass you in the street on a snowy walk.