News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion Columns

December 25, 2012

LIZ CIANCONE: Resist that big ‘let down’ on the day after Christmas

Today is the big day. That makes tomorrow a sort of let down — rather like “What have you done for me lately?”

Frankly, I’ve never understood the concept of “boxing day” which is a holiday the day after the holiday in England and Canada and, I suppose, in the rest of the Commonwealth countries. I suppose it could be the day when everyone dashes back to the shops to exchange or return the stuff they received the day before in boxes as received. But that doesn’t make a lot of sense because the clerks in those shops would have to forget that much-needed holiday to make the exchanges.

Or maybe boxing day is their reward for the frenzy of pre-holiday shopping and extra hours? Who knows? I admit that I’ve never managed to understand it.

In an odd sense our family has celebrated the day after Christmas. My brother, Mike, initiated the celebration which he called “pick-up day.” It was his way of trying to squeeze an extra day of good behavior from our two sons. I can’t remember that Mom and Dad ever suggested pick-up day for me and Ed, although heaven knows it would have been a good idea.

Mike is, by far, my younger brother. After our parents died, Mike became a sort of older brother to our sons. When home from college, our home was his home and, of course, he spent holidays with us.

I look back at the times Mike and my Best Friend labored over “some assembly required” which Santa would be credited with leaving when the boys arose the next morning. There was the “happy times farm set” one of them requested during the early years and then, as Number One son grew older and interested in other things, Mike and my BF labored over assembling the Geiger counter requested of Santa.

At any rate, both boys somehow managed exemplary behavior during Advent, but after the opening of presents and consumption of a bountiful dinner, fatigue set in and there was no guarantee.

So, Mike told them that the day after Christmas was “pick-up day” — a day when Santa came to pick up toys from homes where more typical behavior had returned. It worked — for a year or two.

So, have a happy day and may you be spared “pick-up day!”

Liz Ciancone is a retired Tribune-Star reporter. Send e-mail to opinion@tribstar.com.

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