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Boxing Day: The Best Day

December 26, 2010

“Do you need any help?” asks our neighbour from the comfort of our sofa, “You know, grunt work like peeling potatoes?”

“No,” I reply, “There’s nothing to do.”

Boxing Day is the best day of Christmas. After the intense anticipation of Christmas Eve and the alcohol-fuelled emotion which threatens to seep into any Christmas Day celebration, Boxing Day promises, delivers and keeps on delivering laid-back easy from a seemingly bottomless pit of warm and fluffy relaxation. Cooking isn’t a chore. Laying out the dining table for friends is every bit the pleasure as watching loved ones unwrap parcels of unexpected joy was the night before.

Is it that I’m just on my second glass of champagne, thinking about the two volumes of Benjamin Britten letters I can now plough through when the house is silent? Or is it the pasta maker offering a new skill to be mastered? Is it the opportunity to simple pleasure of playing Trivial Pursuit with our next door neighbours – our local family. Or is it the chance to set the stage for a sumptuous yet laid-back delayed Christmas celebration?

I can’t put my finger on it. I don’t know what the reason is. But still I’m reminded year on year. Boxing Day reliably creeps up on me. A late-morning shower followed by a squirt of the Christmas after shave. Something indulgent is in the oven and there won’t be a hint of turkey on the table. There’s no pressure. No risk of anything going wrong. Just sheer self-indulgent enjoyment. The way it should have been the day before.

This is the holiday we should all bask in. Boxing Day is a pleasure.

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