Monday, December 26, 2005

Happy Boxing Day!

To my Yank readers...

Boxing Day's "official" celebration is based on the old British custom of the aristocracy (and upper-class) to give the servants a box filled with left-overs and small gifts for their service during the Christmas period. It's a mainly Victorian/Edwardian sort of holiday.

Boxing Day today, is a day where all Brits recover from the excesses of the Christmas day by either resting at home, or going to the pub to commiserate with friends about how messed up their families are. (Just kidding, sort of, well, not kidding that much, I suppose...)

I digress.

Although I wrote a fairly impassioned blog about the meaning of the Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hannukha/Yule what-have-you season... And I really believe, that it's necessary to embrace the season for what it's meant to be, rather than the mess that we in the West have called Christmas for the past 50 or so years... There's something to be said about a "recovery day" the day after Christmas for us to rest, relax, and be calm.

In Britain, I was a bartender. And on my FIRST Boxing Day in England in 2003, I worked at the pub on Boxing Day. I helped about 300 people get absolutely PISSED off their heads... (Drunk, for my Yank readers) and it was a mad day to work at a pub. And tiring. I was bushed. On my second Boxing Day in 2004, I wasn't working... But I was at the same place... The pub. This time on the "correct side of the bar" as I, and my customer's used to say. Both were a great way to spend Boxing Day.

I think by working the first one, it was a good indoctrination toward the holiday for a foreigner. I wouldn't have appreciated the holiday as much the first time... But by working it, and seeing how the Brits acted on Boxing Day, by the second one... I was prepared and acted much like the Brits would do. Not in recovery... No... My 2004 Christmas was the first spent with my THEN Fiancée, now wife, and we had a marvellous time; it wasn't a hard experience needing recovery. Boxing day was spent, with My Lady in the pub. I admit to becoming a little more than tipsy on that day... But the feeling of relaxation, and togetherness with the people that you truly interacted with EVERYday, was a wonderful way to end the holiday-season.

Fiona met the extended clan yesterday at my aunt's house in Forest Lake. Forest Lake is a small town north of the Twin Cities, about an hour away by American Roads. In Britain, it's about 3 hours away if you used the Brit roads... Anyhoo... My family seemed to be really taken with her. How could they not? Most of them have never left Minnesota, let alone been anywhere where people have different accents or languages. Fiona was very charming, and adorable, and lovely... And so she was an obvious "big hit" with the clan. However... I felt my neck muscles tense with every conversation. I know that's rather normal when dealing with the family that you only see twice to three times a year... But...

Coming home last night... And today, Boxing Day being spent in slow, gradual calmness has been wonderful for me. I'm still in my P-J's and it's 12:30 in the afternoon.

My Lady's making a speciality of hers... Roast duck, with apricots and port. (Here's to Rob, for the idea.) And I'm about to go upstairs to shower, and get ready for a nice relaxing afternoon. I have a few errands to run today, but no real hurry, and you know, I'm happy.

Cheers readers. If anything else, hold onto the glow of being with people, or away from people, and try to enjoy and embrace the moment. Moments like these, only come around occasionally.

Slàinte -

Just in case, people have not been reading My Lady's Blog...

We're having a party. Fi's Birthday, 21st, the legal-drinking party, "duex" is happening on Thursday night at Kieran's Irish Pub in Downtown Minneapolis. (map) Dinner is at 7:00pm, and the serious drinking starts at 8:00pm. Live music, and enjoyment all night!

If you KNOW Fiona or myself, hell... Even if you don't, and just want to meet a strange Brit/Yank couple at a fun b-day party... Please come. Let Fiona know you're coming, or send regrets to My Lady. Cheers!