The Boxing Day tradition that sounds basically perfect.

Lyne Rogers

My favorite holiday is Boxing Day. This is admittedly weird because I’m American and Boxing Day isn’t a thing here. It is, however, a major thing for my husband and me.

Back in the day in Britain, servants in large households would get (most of) December 26th off of work to celebrate the day with their own families. They’d receive a tip for their services or a box with presents, treats, or leftovers for their families. It was a day for the servants to wind down and spend time with their loved ones. Many of us still have that day off as a remnant of Boxing Day celebrations in the past, but we don’t really celebrate it in the US.  

Christmas for my family is basically an ultra-marathon. Starting at about 3:00 pm on Christmas Eve, we go hard straight through until about 10:00 pm on Christmas night. When I met my husband, we added his family to the Christmas Day mix. The holiday turns into six houses, the final one being my house with lots of meals and even more wine. It’s lovely. It’s exhausting. It’s a lot of family togetherness. The rational thing would be to take a couple days and recover. Not us. We throw a party.

After two days of being with our families, we spend Boxing Day with our friends-the family we’ve chosen. Sure, that’s corny, but it’s a good excuse to get everyone together, eat the leftovers remaining from Christmas night, and drink a little too much.  It’s a different crowd every year. We invite too many people on social media, open the doors in the late afternoon, and watch gleefully as friends filter though to eat, drink, hang out, and be merry. Sometimes they bring their kids, sometimes their dogs...sometimes they bring their own leftovers.  It’s loud, it’s messy, and it’s wonderful.

This year, I’ll be nearly 9 months pregnant by Boxing Day and we’re throwing the party anyway.  I’ll probably be the only sober one in the house. Nesting mode has started in earnest, so I’ll probably be cleaning up around people. I’m sure I’ll be exhausted. And you know what? It’s going to be great. The decor won’t make Martha Stewart proud, and there probably won’t be as many from-scratch appetizers to snack on, but we’re going to crank the heat and fill the house with noise and friends and love.