The holiday season is fast approaching and with it the joys — and stresses — of gifts, visiting and entertaining.
I am always saddened at this time of year because it marks the loss of my much-beloved mother.
But, it’s also a time of great memories. How well I remember the excitement of seeing the holiday edition of the Sears catalogue and having my mother hand me a pen and say, “Mark the things you would like for Christmas”. Thankfully, I never received everything on my list, but that just raised my level of joy for what did appear under the tree.
No doubt everyone breathes a sigh of relief when Boxing Day comes around. Widely seen as a day of relaxation, what are its origins? And no, it is not the day to rid the house of gift boxes or to exchange unwanted gifts or take advantage of sales.
Boxing Day, as we know it, appears to have originated in England during the reign of Queen Victoria, but some historians claim it is a practice that goes back to Roman times. In England, it was the day that servants were given the day off and provided with gift boxes – usually leftover food (tasty though it was) from the parties of the wealthy. It was also the day on which church collection boxes were opened and distributed to the poor by the clergy. In short, the origins of Boxing Day are linked to giving to the less fortunate and a theme that is well worth remembering.
Whatever you are celebrating at this time of year – Christmas, Yule, Feast of the Nativity, Hanukkah and all others – may it be safe, happy and shared with loved ones.
Along the south shore:
The monthly Bonshaw Ceilidh is Sunday, Nov. 26, 2-4 p.m., with an array of musicians volunteering their time and talent. Entry is by donation, with proceeds going to maintenance of the Bonshaw Hall. For information, call 902-675-4093 / 902-314-9563 or go to www.facebook.com/events/289117781493069.
The Borden-Carleton Christmas Fair and Bake Sale is Sunday, Nov. 26, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Legion. For information, go to www.facebook.com/events/343743539372976.
On Saturday, Dec. 2, enjoy a musical evening of Christmas classics with Todd MacLean and Justin Simard, 7-9 p.m., at the beautiful, newly renovated Grand Victorian in Victoria-by-the-Sea. Call 902-940-0228.
Don’t miss the annual Drive-Thru-Living-Nativity-Event, Friday to Sunday, Dec. 8-10, 5:30-8:30 p.m., at 6451 Route 19, Canoe Cove. Donations go to The Children’s Wish Foundation and Santa’s Angels.
Then drive just a few miles further to the annual Sorensen Family Christmas concert, “There’s Music in the Air”, at the South Shore United Church (85 Rte. 10, Tryon), Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m. It includes several Christmas selections written around the time of Confederation. Admission is by donation. For information, call 902-658-2009.
Adults and children are invited to the annual Christmas Concert at the Bonshaw Hall, Sunday, Dec. 10, 7 p.m. Enjoy an old-fashioned concert with a list of performers too long to mention. Santa’s emissary, Ms. Claus, will be in attendance to hand out hot apple cider, Christmas cookies and treats for the youngsters. Donations will go to maintenance of the hall. For information, call 902-675-4093.
Consider putting the South Shore Food bank on your Christmas list to help the many families in need. www.facebook.com/South-Shore-Food-Share-1573450979632681
Another great gift idea at this time of year is a spay/neuter gift certificate.
Diana Lariviere of Argyle Shore is a freelance writer and P.E.I. marriage commissioner. Her column for The Guardian appears in the newspaper on the last Saturday of each month. She welcomes comments, suggested topics for future columns and public service announcement submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org or 902-675-3221. The deadline for submission is the 15th of each month.