Boxing Day, December 26th, traditionally a day of giving gifts and the day off to servants, or collecting alms in churches for the poor, a day of rest for some, now a bank holiday in England, St. Stephens day in Ireland, a day to watch sports or unfortunately now some say its a day to shop. As you can see the day after Christmas has a LOT going, on mostly in countries with British roots. For us personally it’s just been a traditional day of rest and nibbling leftover treats, playing games, relaxing and tidying up from the excitement of the day before. In the past I’ve always felt a bit let down on this quiet day, probably mostly because I’ve maxed out on Christmas gifts and sweet treats and I’m generally just tired from the go-go-go of the season.
This year however I decided to combat the usual malaise with more giving and continue with the reverse advent challenge from StreetBank. I’ve been giving things away everyday since the weekend before Thanksgiving, trying to bless others with things we no longer need but are still usable and desirable. Our family (ME) has given away 32 boxes of stuff in the last month, hopefully blessing families and definitely blessing us with breathing space and free empty shelves, shelves we’re getting rid of in an effort to stay more organized and have less stuff in storage. Here’s a list of just a few things we’ve donated: 26 easy reader level k-3rd grade books(a nice collection!), legos and duplos, a tiffin, 3 sets of retro candle sticks, vintage bookends, 6 handmade tea towels, soccer shoes(nice, worn for 5 weeks 2x a week), board games, two size 8 winter coats, size 8 pants/jeans/sweat pants, a rain poncho, the entire set of Sex and The City dvds, 4 large boxes of packing peanuts, a lamp, 2 boxes (SOB! not really!) of Christmas Decorations, mixed dishes, cat scratching toys, purses and seriously so much more. Reading that list of things we (I) gave away makes us look like we buy a LOT of new things we just don’t need, in reality I buy 70-80% of our house hold goods second hand.
Today while everyone was busy working on legos or laying about I roused myself from the food coma I was lolling about in and headed downstairs “to put some things away.” I spent a few minutes down there putting wrapping paper up and rolling ribbons back on to spools and looking around a not yet clean and empty basement. Then got down to what I really wanted to do, minimize possessions. I started yet another box of donations, digging into a couple boxes from my childhood, I found lots of things I just didn’t need to keep. In the end I filled three boxes with good usable toys, books I’ve read and clothes that no longer fit anyone.
Boxing Day, for us, now means boxing up and getting rid of things we’re done with but that still have life left in them.