Friday, December 26, 2014

Christ-Mass: Day 2 (St Stephen/Boxing Day)

“On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, two turtle doves ...”

Last week, the President of the United States, in effect, declared "Boxing Day" as a paid holiday for federal employees, and gave them the day off. That may seem like a waste of taxpayer dollars, until you consider that most of them would have put in for annual leave anyway, and would still have gotten paid, and in some major cities with a large presence of government agencies, it offsets the rush-hour traffic, so more stores can be busier with after-Christmas sales.

So you see, everybody wins.

I love to show this video of the á capella group Straight No Chaser singing their own unique version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Today still feels a little like Christmas, only more stores are open, bustling continued consumer spending in spite of everything. I know, some people may think that's a concession to the over-commercialization of the holiday, but as we mentioned before, it's better than pretending it's anything other than Christmas -- like some folks we know.

Today is “Boxing Day” in Canada, the UK, and other nations of the present and former British Empire. Traditionally, Christmas Day was when the master of the house would give presents to his family. On the following day, he would arrange for leftovers from his great feast to be given to his domestic staff, in boxes that they could take home. Eventually, it became customary to box other gifts as well.

This is a music video of a recent song by Blink 182 entitled, you guessed it, “Boxing Day” -- or, to be exact, the "official music cover video" by another band, Razor Notes. To hear them tell it, “This time it's not a pop punk version, it's more like the original Blink's ‘Boxing Day’ their first song released as an Indipendent [sic] band.”

Whatever works, huh, guys?

Meanwhile, the Irish celebrate this as a national holiday, too, only as Saint Stephen's Day, honoring one of the seven deacons appointed in the Book of Acts, to assist the apostles in their ministry. He was stoned to death by the Jews -- no, not all of the Jews, just some of them, and all of those guys were Jews, alright already??? -- and so is known in the Churches of the East as the "Protomartyr," as he was the first recorded to die for the Faith. And let's not forget that "Good King Welceslas" of Bohemia went out on the feast of Stephen, when the snow lay on ground, yada yada yada ...

And so it goes.

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