Boxing Day

Ah, how was it for you all? Family arguments? Dry turkey? Awkward moments with the in-laws? Well that’s what Christmas is all about! Behind this facade of token British cynicism, all at Tea & Sympathy actually had a pretty brilliant day. And here’s hoping you did too!

Merry Christmas...

We meant to post yesterday, but we were enjoying what is known in Britain as Boxing Day. December 26th is a national holiday, traditionally spent in much the same way as the previous day: at home, with your nearest and dearest, eating and drinking. The name ‘Boxing Day’ dates from the Middle Ages, and refers to a tradition of giving one’s servants boxes of gifts. Unfortunately, this custom didn’t make it over to the United States, and our thoughts were with all those (including the T&S gals and delivery boys) who were back at work yesterday.

A whole day, just for us?

A relevant aside – considering 2011 saw many countries undergo sudden regime change, there were riots on the streets of London, and Time’s person of the year was ‘The Protester’ – is the tradition of the Cutty Wren. Held on Boxing Day, townspeople would hunt a wren and tie it to the top of a decorated pole. Dressed in masks, straw suits and colourful clothing, they would parade through the streets, accompanied by traditional music bands. This tradition may date from the peasants’ revolt of 1381, when landworkers marched on London to demand better treatment from King Richard II. Known as the King’s bird, the killing of the wren holds special significance.

Time's person of Year, 'The Protester'

So there you go – Merry Christmas and long live the revolution! And here’s hoping Prince Phillip makes a full recovery!

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen's husband, who spent Christmas and Boxing Day in hospital following a heart scare.


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