Did you have a merry Christmas? Whether imperfect or not, I hope it was very magical for you. Today begins the first of the 12 days of Christmas. Or the 2nd day. It depends on which source you believe. If Christmas is day zero, then the 12 days beginning today will end on January 6. If Christmas is day one, then the 12 days end on January 5. The full Wikipedia article does explain that the 12 days have different official start dates depending on where you live, what religious denomination is celebrating, etc.

Here at CM365 I was tempted to have a post dedicated to old celebrations / feasts / traditions for each of the 12 days, but was rather horrified at many of the barbaric traditions of old. Trust me when I say many of the feasts are not in the spirit of Christmas Magic! So here we will proceed with a more modern and sedate 12 days of Christmas. And a lovely tradition celebrated in the United Kingdom is Boxing Day, which happens to be today. The name refers to a “Christmas box” being presented to servants by the lords and ladies of the house on December 26. The servants had to work for the family on the 25th, so they got the 26th off and received a bonus or tip that day.

Truthfully, Boxing Day is no longer celebrated in this fashion in the UK and other countries that observe it. Now it is a shopping day, a bank holiday, a day off work, a day to watch sports. But I like to at least pretend to revive an old Boxing Day tradition and use the day to take stock of what my family received as Christmas gifts and see if we can box up anything for the needy. For example, if we received new sweaters, could we possibly find another sweater (in good condition) to donate? Books? Coffee mugs?

This could also be a good day to box up unused gift wrap, bows, and cards for donation. Also review whatever Christmas decor you didn’t put out. Maybe you didn’t put out that disco-dancing Santa for the 5th year in a row. Perhaps you could box him up for someone else who really gets a kick out of dancing Santas. I often find it is easier than usual to be generous on December 26.

(Image credit: 3D Animation Production Company)

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