Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Boxing Day Gathering

The day after Christmas is traditionally called Boxing Day in England, Canada and other British countries. The concept is that goods for the poor, of those of lower social status would be boxed up and the lord and lady of the manor would distribute them in their area. In feudal times, Christmas was a reason for a gathering of extended families. All the serfs would gather their families in the manor of their lord, which made it easier for the lord of the estate to hand out annual stipends to the serfs. On 26 December, after all the Christmas parties, the lord of the estate would give practical goods such as cloth, grains, and tools to the serfs who lived on his land. Each family would receive a box full of such goods, hence "Boxing Day." According to this tradition, the lord of the manor did not volunteer, but was obliged to supply these gifts.

In American December 26th is one of the biggest sales days of the year, so things are still boxed up, plus many people use that trip to the mall to return Christmas gifts that didn't suit. That shopping scene is not my cup of tea. Our dog, above, would rather stay home, too.

Our boxing day this year was more like the British in that we had a gathering of the extended family from Sweetie's side of the family and had a finger food party at our house. My daugter finally met her cousins' two little ones, we got to visit with the Oakmont and Cloverdale family members, plus the Healdsburg, the L.A., and San Francisco folks, even my daughter's best friend who is an honorary family member of long standing. There were even a few boxes of gifts exchanged.

Great conversation and lots of food and drink were abundant. The Yule log was finally eaten and was a hit, especially with Sweetie's namesake. Junebug's mom helped me with the mulled apple cider. In some ways, the fact that everyone gathered on this day at our house was her gift to us all. *Thank You*

Here she is serving up some the the cider...a welcome and warm libation today when the cold wind was blowing and the windchimes were ringing. It is just a little spicey and not too sweet with lemon and orange flavors along with the apple...good with a jot of rum, too.

Happy Holidays to everyone!

(Yes, the back is better...thank you to all who left kind and sympathetic messages...you are all great!)

Mulled Apple CIder
1 gallons apple cider
3 whole cinnamon sticks
1 can frozen lemonade concentrate
2 cups orange juice or 1 can frozen orange juice concentrate
6-8 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 large orange, sliced in 1/4 inch slices
In a large pot bring all of the ingredients to a boil. Cover and lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for 1/2 hour to mingle flavors. Serve warm. It can be kept at a simmer for hours and will only get better. Some people like to add a tot of rum or brandy.


5 comments :

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Better back is certainly great news!
Now you've gone and made me crave some apple cider!

Peabody said...

Sadly Boxing Day in Canada is pretty much what the day after Thanksgiving is here...super shopping day.
That cider looks warming.

DaviMack said...

Thank you for the explanation of what Boxing Day is! We were wondering, vaguely, why it was called that, but hadn't bothered to look it up anywhere! Nice to know it's not about Punch & Judy!

Hope you're having a good holiday. :)

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Sounds like a perfect Boxing Day tradition. When I was a child I thought that Boxing Day meant that everyone went to see big boxing matches the day after Christmas.

Elle said...

Tanna,Thanks for your good wishes...now have a little cider.

Peabody, You could start a new tradition in your neighborhood...or not. Too bad that shopping is considered more fun by most.

Davimack, No Punch & Judy, but good deeds...or good food in our case...happy holidays to you!

Lynn, It really is an odd name for a holiday...hope you have a great holiday season.