If you are reading this, you survived Christmas - or you are reading from the hereafter. For the English this is boxing day. Boxing day has nothing to do with punch-ups the day after Christmas as a result of uncle Ralph being insulted by Cousin George over dinner. The name comes from the tradition in grand English Country Houses (think Downton Abbey) of the staff having the day after Christmas off, and being rewarded with a box of goodies (that the staff likely toiled to prepare.) One of my father's aunts was a housekeeper in one of those houses for decade before immigrating at the beginning of World War II. She was housekeeper for the Firestone family when my Aunt Edith was born, my father went to stay with her (them) for a couple of weeks to get him out of the house for the birth.
Cousin William was married three or four times and sued for "palimony" once. His second wife was particularly colorful. When they met she was the wife of his banker. She had expensive taste. The first year they were married he bought her diamonds, a whole hand full of them for Christmas and she complained that she couldn't wear them anyplace for fear of being robbed. The second year he bought her a fur coat for Christmas, and she complained that it was not as nice as the one he had bought for his first wife (she has a point.) The third year he gave her a checking account with $10,000 in it (he must have found a new bank.) She complained that writing a check was a pain in the ass. The fourth year she found a beautifully wrapped box under the tree, he made the excuse that he needed to go have an early Christmas breakfast with his kids, and that she should open it when she got up. She noticed a funny smell that morning. She opened the box and found it full of cow manure, with a plastic bag on top of the pile, containing divorce papers. There was no report of her complaints that year.
Be grateful for all kindnesses, great and small.
Any legendary family holiday stories you can share?