Thursday, December 26, 2013

Happy Boxing Day to All Readers!


When I was young you could buy a paperback book for 35 cents. Of course it was much harder to come up with 35 cents back in those days, but it was still a good price. At least for a bibliophile like me. And this love for books led to my becoming an anglophile. Let’s just say that I’m a lover of all good things.

Back in the mid-fifties we teenagers would hang out in the local drugstore. These were magical places for me, because those four walls contained all of the things I loved best. A soda fountain where they made everything from scratch, even Cokes; makeup including the latest fads in eye shadow (blue back then), lipstick and nail polish (the rage was Fire and Ice and was the reddest red you have ever seen); and most importantly: BOOKS! Racks and racks of paperback books.

There was always a sign posted that said, “THIS IS NOT A LIBRARY, BOOKS ARE FOR SALE ONLY.” Of course most of us ignored that. The owners didn’t run me out because I always bought something before I left.

It was there, when I was about 18, that I discovered my beloved Agatha Christie. The first book I happened on to was MURDER IN THE VICERAGE, and I was instantly addicted. I went on to read and reread every book that she had written. Something about her style relaxed me when I was anxious, comforted me when I was hurt and brought a good deal of pleasure to my life.

Through her books I learned of Boxing Day, a bank holiday in England. For a long time I thought it had something to do with pugilism, and I wondered why it came right after Christmas. Eventually I learned it referred to Christmas gifts and a day off for the hired help.

Historians don’t agree on how this holiday originated, although some say the tradition began in England in the Middle Ages. Servants, of course, had to work on Christmas Day, so on the day after left-overs from the huge feasts of the rich were boxed up and sent with the worker-bees as they visited their families. It seems that tradesmen also followed this tradition for their help.

The idea of an extra holiday in celebration of a Christmas Box, or gift, seems wonderful to me, and this Yankee is going to celebrate it. I invite all and sundry to join me…Yanks, Brits, and all readers.

Happy Boxing Day to all readers!

Hugs,

Jackie

5 comments:

smalltownworld said...

I thought boxing day was the day you put all the decorations back in their boxes so they'd fit in the attic. :) I love the idea of boxing up the leftovers and sending them home with the servants. (Especially since I probably would have been one of the servants.)
Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I might have to read Agatha one of these days.

smalltownworld said...

I thought boxing day was the day you put all the decorations back in their boxes so they'd fit in the attic. :) I love the idea of boxing up the leftovers and sending them home with the servants. (Especially since I probably would have been one of the servants.)
Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I might have to read Agatha one of these days.

Jean Henry Mead said...

Loved this post, Jackie, and I share your love of Agatha Christie's books. I have some treasured leather-bound copies of some of her novels that I've reread countless times.

Jackie King said...

Dear Smalltownworld, aka Susan, I'd never thought about packing up decorations into boxes. Wouldn't work for me anyway, it's usually at least New Year Day or past before that happens at my house.
Hugs.

Jackie King said...

Thanks, Jean. It doesn't surprise me that you're an Agatha Christie fan. We seem to have so much in common. Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs.