Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Happy Boxing Day

DEBORAH CROMBIE: Happy Boxing Day, everyone! Who celebrates Boxing Day? Who knows what Boxing Day is?



In Britain and most Commonwealth countries, Boxing Day is celebrated on the 26th of December. There is some argument about the etymology of the term, but the most common explanation is that historically, the day after Christmas was the servants day off, on which their masters would give them gifts, or "boxes." 

In the UK, Boxing Day is an official bank holiday, and traditionally a day to spend with family and friends, especially those not seen on Christmas Day.  It's also very big for sports, especially horse racing and hunting. 

I think Boxing Day is a lovely tradition to keep, and I can tell you how I intend to spend mine--with my feet up!

We had a really joyful Christmas--fun with the grandbaby, lots of company, lots of great food (if I say so myself...) One of my favorite gifts from Santa was a huge end-grain maple cutting board, and did it get a work out! 

My other favorite gift was a 23andMe DNA testing kit. I've wanted to know more about my genetic history for years, so this is very exciting. Too bad it takes six to eight weeks to get your results back!

What about you, REDS and readers? A good day? Favorite gifts?

And for those who asked, here is a photo of the amazing trifle:-).




50 comments:

  1. What a delicious-looking trifle!

    We’re celebrating Boxing Day by taking it easy, too. Feet up and a cup of tea sounds like a really good plan for the day.

    We had a wonderful Christmas . . . lots of good food, good company, grandbabies . . . just a happy day.
    My favorite gift: being with family.

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    1. I'm glad you had such a great Christmas, Joan. Thank you for taking the time to post your watermelon pickle recipe! It sounds a lot like what my grandmother did, except I think she used clove and cinnamon oil instead of the whole spices. I kind of remember her fretting one year because she couldn't get the cinnamon oil. Whatever she did, they sure were good. I appreciate you sharing.

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    2. Gigi, I have a vague recollection of my grandmother saying something about using oils instead of the whole spices, but apparently they became difficult to find and at some point she switched to putting the spices in a cheesecloth spice bag.

      Glad to share; pickled watermelon rind is a real treat!

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    3. What does it taste like? Pickles or watermelon? I can't imagine it..

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    4. I make this every summer. It has a fresh spicy taste, maybe a little like watermelon, more like cinnamon and cloves. It’s great with grilled meat, ham , pork chops

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  2. It's already Boxing Day, but I have not yet gone to bed from Christmas. We had a full house here: three houseguests for three nights, and then thirteen for dinner on Christmas. It was a wonderful time with family and dear ones, but I'm ready for a break. I plan to sit by the fire and read or just have conversation and a glass of wine.

    Happy Boxing Day to all.

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  3. You and me, both, Karen. We had ten for dinner, and it's already Boxing Day and I'm still doing dishes:-)

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  4. My Christmas guest was a dog from the rescue group I volunteer with. She came to me on Thursday, from her former home way up in the Texas panhandle, and will be moving on to her forever home down in Houston early this morning. She's been a sweetheart, but once she's gone my pack and I look forward to a quiet return to normal on Boxing Day. I'll have my feet up and my nose in a book, and I'll probably enjoy a helping or two of leftover trifle, which was pretty damn good the first time around. As was the prime rib, the spinach bake, and the mashed potato casserole with the cheese bombs. Debs is not only an excellent writer; she's an amazing and very brave cook.

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  5. Yes, we celebrate Boxing Day in Canada and it is a stat holiday. Early morning lineups for great shopping deals used to be a tradition here. I remember lining up at 5:00 am to get a North Face parka at 50% off during a doorcrasher sale one Boxing Day in Ottawa since it was -40C/F and my Toronto winter coat was not going to be enough! But in recent years, Canada has embraced the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales that follow the US Thanksgiving and it is no longer the biggest shopping day of the year.

    No Boxing Day sales for me this year...just staying indoors and watching the cold/snowy landscape while reading.

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  6. Gigi, what a great Christmas house guest. Kudos! Debs, the trifle looks yummy. Sounds like all had spectacular Christmas days. We celebrated Christmas Eve so yesterday was quiet and restful--except for putting together some cat furniture--which like all other kits came one screw short and one screw hole drilled in the wrong place!

    Favorite gift? LL Bean wicked good slippers and a wool throw. Gifts for the going home to Maine closet! YES - Hubs was waffling.

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    1. Was Hubs undecided? Or did Hubs make waffles? I'm hoping for the latter.

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    2. Undecided about returning to Maine. So the gift was twofold. We're going back!

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  7. Happy day! Our Christmas was a delight with two rich feasts and much laughter with children. I'm looking forward to getting back to work today (as soon as I finish typing this comment, in fact) and then cross-country skiing on all our fresh snow.

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  8. So wonderful to see this— such fun to read. it poured down snow at our house —unexpectedly, but it was beautiful and we stayed cozy (er, traditional) at home!
    Love these comments… Keep them coming!

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  9. Replies
    1. Little chunks of cheese tucked in between the folds of the mashed potatoes, to melt in secret and surprise the diner with an explosion of cheese. It's a highly technical cheffy-type term I learned from Jamie Oliver.

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  10. Wonderful day here in the desert! Shenanigans with the Hooligans and all that. Debs - Hub and I did the DNA test last year! We were surprised to find I have 3% Israeli in my background and he has 5% Turkish - very cool!

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  11. Two of the kids left at 5am with more to follow...cleaning up, organizing leftovers, and reading. And I received a splendid new cutting board as well!

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  12. For the first time in years, I am at my paid employment today. But it was my choice. Half my department is out on maternity leave, and at a non-profit, you sometimes actually get "donor emergencies" here in the week between Christmas and New Year's. So my one still-working colleague and I split the week, and I am in today and tomorrow. It will be a quiet day (barring anyone desperately wanting to donate to qualify for a 2017 tax deduction) and I can clean things up for a nice start when I return on the 2nd.

    My holiday was blissfully low-key. We opened gifts and enjoyed a nice roast beef dinner, and by 4:00 my sister and son had both hit the road, leaving Bob and me to enjoy a very lazy evening watching Acorn TV and sipping eggnog. (Of course, we still have one more round of Christmas to enjoy on Saturday.)

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    1. Can I ask for what non-profit you're working for ?

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    2. Oh ! I've lasting memories from my years with Scouts (1976-1981). Was part of a group taking care of little boys from 9 to 11 called Louveteaux ( Cubs). Had great fun and learned a lot.
      Never forgot to do my best and to be ready. Have a good day Susan

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  13. For my always dry hands during winter, a friend gave me from Clarins, Paris: Hand and nail treatment cream. Love this cream. As it is expensive, I usually buy it only at duty free but now I' m good for the winter and more.
    Yesterday, as a gift from me to me, I downloaded Rhys's The Ghost of Christmas Past, began reading it and will probably finish it today : so very pleasant Christmas and Boxing Day

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  14. Our house is still awash in gift boxes and ribbons. Candy. And leftovers (YAY)
    Tomorrow is trash day so it will be somewhat better tomorrow.
    I LOVE THIS HOLIDAY

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  15. We had no leftovers. Which is good, because everyone loved the food. And bad, because there are no leftovers. -:)

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  16. Turkey drama yesterday. I wanted to cook 2 turkeys so we could have our traditional boxing day curry? Alas one turkey was too big for them to fit side by side. SIL Tom had to rush out Ns buy new pan. Christmas was saved. Food tasted tummy. We went on a good walk beside the Bay and John was given an Alexa Dot. I foresee trouble ahead... Anastasia,where did I put my pen?

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    1. Rhys, my nephew's family has had Alexa for almost two years. They have been teaching their daughter to tell time. Recently, his wife asked their little girl to go in the kitchen and check the time for her. The child yelled out "Alexa, what time is it?"

      DebRo

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    2. Wren thinks Alexa should be in the car, too:-)

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    3. Since I use quite a few English cookbooks, including Jamie Oliver's Christmas Dinner yesterday, I love the fact that Alexa will do my conversions for me!

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    4. Rhys, you have to give us your turkey curry recipe!

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    5. Gee, I might eventually get converted to using Alexa!

      DebRo

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  17. We are going to celebrate Boxing Day by breaking down all the amazon boxes for the recycle and then going to a movie. It’s bitterly cold but so many, the only day without snow in the forecast.

    This evening we will watch last night’s Call the Midwife. Neither of us could stay up that late last night.

    Deb, your will lovee 23 and me. I got it for my birthday, had the results within a couple of weeks. This morning I ponied up $$ for the full report as I wanted to know more details, especially about the genetic disorders. All news is good.

    And with the basic test, I found a first cousin once removed that no one knew about. Talk about some good dinner table conversation!

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    1. Yes, I'm very excited, Ann. Glad to know it only took a couple of weeks to get the results. I wanted to do it before Christmas but Rick made me wait, lol.

      I hope I recorded Call the Midwife...

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    2. Oh no! Was there another Christmas special? Darn, missed it again. :^0

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  18. One of my fav gifts is an insulated gravy boat! No more cold gravy at this table

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    1. I didn't know there was such a thing, Ann!

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    2. Check them out on Amazon. Definitely something whose time has come!

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  19. My favorite gift this year is the gift of life; last Tuesday as I walked back to work at the end of my lunch break, I had a mishap that sent me to the ER for several hours. I'm battered and bruised and very achy, but alive! Many people don't survive lesser mishaps. I had planned to do Christmas shopping after work that day but that was definitely not going to happen! Instead, everyone received gift cards!

    Yesterday I had a wonderful time with relatives, and enjoyed the antics of my sister and brother in law's grandchildren.

    I may take a drive over to Starbucks today to use a Starbucks gift card I received. Sitting, sipping, reading...sounds good! Tomorrow I return to work.
    DebRo

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  20. Big family = more work, I gather from the comments. We two were done with our Christmas by Noon, including clean-up, and were left with our new books to peruse and thank-you cards to write (all done and in the mail box). Leftovers for both lunch and dinner, so that was easy. Except for the tree still up, the house looks back to normal.

    Boxing Day will be medical appointments: eyes at 11:00 am, primary care doc at 1:00. Getting them over with by the end of the year, but I wish I was staying home. It's been in the 20s for the last couple of days, the snow is still on the ground and the hill is icy but we'll be able to get out, we think. Once home, reading by the fire.

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  21. Today began with brunch with the younger generations, and then they headed home. We're cooling out this afternoon--I'm doing a bit of laundry--before meeting up with my sisters and their husbands for dinner somewhere. My favorite present was all of them, plus just having all of us together.

    We didn't talk about Boxing Day growing up. For Catholics, today is the feast day of one of the first martyrs, Saint Stephen, the day on which good King Wenceslas looked out.

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    1. Jim, I was going to mention that it was also St. Stephen's Day.

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  22. I think this was one of the few Christmases that my daughter and I didn't give each other books. But Gigi gave me a fascinating book on hummingbirds which I intend to enjoy today while stretched out on sofa in front of the fire. Only two more loads to go in the dishwasher, I think!

    The best gifts of all yesterday were time spent with friends and family, and especially watching Wren enjoy Christmas. Little ones really do make Christmas magical.

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  23. No Boxing Day in the US (except for me putting boxes in the recycling bin), but we had a wonderful Christmas. The best part is that both our daughters are here and one of my s-i-l's were here for Christmas Eve (church and opening stockings) and Christmas Day (presents, food, and more presents.) My husband surprised me with a new(er) iPhone (6s up from 5s) and I also got an Instapot, which should be quite interesting. My mom and dad gave me a tea cup/mug that says, "Never underestimate a well-read woman", which is very special as my dad picked it out for me. Nothing scheduled for today, which is quite nice, too.

    janet

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  24. I don't have a favorite gift, but my mom and my sisters and I just had lunch out, on our own, without husbands and kids. We rarely get to be together just as a quintet, so that was a treat. I'm going to put my feet up by the fire and do some reading now. That trifle looks amazing, Debs!

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  25. Yes, Boxing Day is drawing to its close, and I'm back on the couch checking my favourite blogs, after our usual orgy of Boxing Day visits and gorging. Oh gosh, I'm not going to each for a week.

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    1. EAT. I'm not going to EAT for a week

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  26. Happy Boxing Day! Several friends asked me what Boxing Day is and I found a few British Instagrammers' descriptions of their Boxing Day, which I forwarded to these friends who asked about Boxing Day.

    A DNA test is a great idea! I found out that I am 38 percent Great Britain. And my favorite Christmas gifts were books!!

    Diana

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  27. Nice Blog. Thanks for such a informative post.

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