Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Our own butler and housekeeper ~ Festive, yet freaky
Well, we have transformed the meaning of Boxing Day in our household. The day after Christmas is traditionally when the owners of the English manors would box up leftover food from their Christmas feast and deliver it to their household staff, who had worked so hard for them on Christmas Day. It is also associated with alms boxes placed in churches for the needy. [Anyway, it seems to be a Victorian holdover and a holiday that continues--in Great Britain and Canada, Boxing Day is a bank holiday.]
Typically, the day after Christmas in our home is all about recovery and relaxation. But today, in our house, Boxing Day was all about putting away Christmas decorations in record speed. This made my husband very happy (and to his credit he has, over the past twelve years, come to accept that I am a Christmas decoration fanatic). Usually I insist on leaving everything up at least until January 6, the Feast of Epiphany or the Twelfth Day of Christmas. This year, with our move in two days, we needed to pack all of it up and move the voluminous Christmas decorations back to their cupboards.
I have been collecting Christmas decorations for many years. Most of our items are heirlooms from different branches of our families or gifts from family and friends. Several years ago we bought a Byer's Caroler collection from some friends whose mother had collected Christmas items. The butler and housekeeper I actually bought myself a few years ago, well before I had even begun The Pantry book or research. There is something festive, yet freaky, about Byer's dolls.
Of course, none of this move will really hit me until we do actually sell our New England home and pack all of it up. I prefer the slow Band-Aid removal method. It can still be painful, but far less abrupt.