|Photo taken by the Tasmanian Police of a seal sitting atop a car. The area has been secured to prevent the public from getting too close. For details on the story, please click here.|
After yesterday’s perfectly sunny Christmas Day, today is Boxing Day and its overcast and cloudy. We’re staying in other than a possible walk if it doesn’t rain.
|Our Christmas Day meal. The filet mignon was tender as it could be, the prawns sweet and delicious and the plate of bacon and sautéed mushrooms, salad and green beans were added treats.|
We’ve always assumed Boxing Day had something to do with the sport of boxing. This is the first country in which we’ve lived that was celebrating this special day prompting us to research what Boxing Day really is about.
|Pedal kayaking on Christmas Day.|
In Australia and other British Commonwealth nations, Boxing Day is a day for many shoppers to line up during the night, to take advantage of the continent wide sales on new and leftover holiday merchandise. They take this very seriously and many stores had long queues since the middle of the night.
|These are the same purple flowers that bloom this time of year in New Zealand.|
What is Boxing Day? From this site, here’s some speculation as to its origins:
“Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated on the day following Christmas Day in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth nations. Boxing Day occurs on 26 December, although the attached bank holiday or public holiday may take place either on that day or a day later.
In the liturgical calendar of Western Christianity, Boxing Day is the second day of Christmastide,[ and also St. Stephen’s Day. In some European countries, notably Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries, 26 December is celebrated as a Second Christmas Day.
There are competing theories for the origins of the term, none of which are definitive. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the earliest attestations from England in the 1830s, defining it as “the first week-day after Christmas-day, observed as a holiday on which post-men, errand-boys, and servants of various kinds expect to receive a Christmas-box”. (Continued below).
|Sunny day view of a portion of Penguin.|
The term “Christmas-box” dates back to the 17th century, and among other things meant:
A present or gratuity given at Christmas: in Great Britain, usually confined to gratuities given to those who are supposed to have a vague claim upon the donor for services rendered to him as one of the general public by whom they are employed and paid, or as a customer of their legal employer; the undefined theory being that as they have done offices for this person, for which he has not directly paid them, some direct acknowledgement is becoming at Christmas.
In Britain, it was a custom for tradespeople to collect “Christmas boxes” of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year. This is mentioned in Samuel Pepys‘ diary entry for 19 December 1663. This custom is linked to an older English tradition: since they would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts, bonuses and sometimes leftover food.
The European tradition, which has long included giving money and other gifts to those who were needy and in service positions, has been dated to the Middle Ages, but the exact origin is unknown. It is believed to be in reference to the Alms Box placed in areas of worship to collect donations to the poor. Also, it may come from a custom in the late Roman/early Christian era, wherein metal boxes placed outside churches were used to collect special offerings tied to the Feast of Saint Stephen,which in the Western Church falls on the same day as Boxing Day.”
|During our walk on Christmas Day, we noticed many mailboxes say, “No junk mail. Thank you.”|
As we sit here now with TV on in the background with coffee mugs in hand, the conversations on the various news shows are all discussing the exciting sales throughout Australia. This is a favorite day for many Aussies.
For us, with no interest in shopping we won’t even notice the shopping frenzy in quiet, laidback Penguin. With only a handful of shops not related to dining and food shopping, we don’t expect the Penguin shops to be open. We’ll know more later when we go for a walk.
|B&B in the neighborhood.|
We had a pleasant, albeit quiet Christmas Day, with a great midday meal with a light snack later in the evening followed by a lovely walk in the neighborhood. Later, we lounged on the front veranda exchanging “Merry Christmas” to one passerby after another.
|With summer starting on December 21st and temperatures warming flowers are blooming.|
Talking to some family members on Skype and sharing wishes in Facebook via chat and posting kept us busy for part of the day. Tom spent hours on Ancestry.com piecing together more of his family connections while I busied myself reading and writing to family and friends.
|With most islands formed from volcanos an amount of lava rock remains on the beaches in Tasmania, along with a tremendous amount of white sand beaches.|
For those on the opposite side of the International Dateline who celebrate ,we wish you a very Merry Christmas and for those on this side, located in British Commonwealth nations, we wish you a Happy Boxing Day, and shopping experience as well!
|What a great meal we had dining out on Christmas Day last year in Fiji. I ate four of these octopus! For more food photo, please click here. See Tom’s meal below.