26 December 2014

Happy Boxing Day!!

When I was small and the family still gathered for Yuletide, things were so traditional.   And in many ways more special.   Of course, there were chances of a White Christmas back then, which seems so rare these days.  With a good layer of snow on the ground, we would pull out the horse sleighs for Boxing Day, and ride around to visit neighbors and tenants.  While Christmas was always magical, I loved the unique time of the day following -- Boxing Day.  We made up cakes, cookies and small gifts, and we would deliver them.  The neighbors were thrilled to see us, and opened their doors; in turn, they offered their hospitality with cups of mead or wassail, and special treats of fairy cakes, yulelogs, fruit and nuts. We would get to see their trees.  Naturally, they were not the sleek, commercial versions we have today - but trees decorated with garlands made from strung popcorn and cranberries, and the ornaments were handmade or passed down for years, if not generations.  It was so exhilarating riding in the sleighs, all tucked up under thick wool tartans and furs, the sleigh bells jingling.  Such wonderful memories.

Alas, so rare comes the heavy snows, even less frequently is the White Christmas.  The family is scattered, off to form their own traditions. The sleighs set covered in an hold barn, dusty and ignored.  But I still hold tight to those cherish memories and keep Boxing Day in my heart.

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