On the day after Christmas, we are getting dumped on here in Chicago. We have big snowcakes on our yard furniture outside the window (full disclosure - the picture above is a random Chicago snow photo grab from a Google search, not my backyard).
This is Boxing Day, the traditional day for tipping service folks and giving money to the poor in Commonwealth countries. It is also known in some religous circles as St. Stephen's Day, or the Feast of Stephen - Stephen being the first Christian martyr. You might remember the words of the Christmas carol:
Good King Wencelaus went out
On the Feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Cool and crisp and even.
We don't pay much attention to Boxing Day in the USofA. December 26 is "Exchange the Presents and Hit the Sales Day." But in this time of economic weakness, high unemployment and other tribulations, hitting the "alms box" with a little cash is more important than usual. Food banks are my preferred charity this year. This is a good day to make a deposit.
I just finished thumbing theourgh the Sunday New York Times; December 26th is also the day for the NYT's "Year in Pictures" section. From the deep tragedy of the Haitian earthquake to the giddy elation of the San Francisco Giants World Series championship, the images were well-chosen. Everyone has memories of the personal high points and low points of the year. Whatever your personal reality might be right now, the best path is the one that leads forward. For me, on this Boxing Day, my first step on my path forward is to resume my close personal realtionship with my snow shovel.