Sometimes having a birthday the day after Christmas kind of sucks.

Especially when you’re a kid.

When I was little, the day after Christmas was never a good time for a birthday party. The kids were already tired of their Christmas toys, and the grownups were strangely grumpy. 😛

Yesterday I turned 68 years old, and it was a lovely birthday!

I received close to a hundred happy birthday wishes on Facebook and several real birthday cards in the regular mail, including one featuring a hilarious Viking.

Both my sons called me to wish me a happy birthday. My older son Nick and his girlfriend are down in the Florida Keys for the holiday week. Lucky ducks!

My friend Juhi, who is from India but now lives in North Carolina USA, also called me. We had a nice long chat. It was great to get to catch up with her. I miss her so much since she and her husband Amol moved away two years ago.

My younger son Jason had driven me the day before my birthday to the Christmas Day get-together with our extended family in a city an hour away.

We rode in his 2019 Subaru WRX STI, which is a very sporty rally car. It was the first time I’d been in the STI for a road trip.

He had recently had some work done on it, increasing the horsepower and the torque, and making the exhaust even louder than it had originally been. I was afraid I might be deaf after riding in it for an hour each way, but it wasn’t bad at all and quite fun to ride in.

Christmas Day had been wonderful, with our entire extended family getting together except for Nick and Summer who were in the Florida Keys. I hadn’t seen two of my nieces, one who lives in Boston and the other in New Zealand, in over three years, which was when their sister got married.

Now there are two tiny great-nieces, one who just turned two in November and one who will turn one year old in February. They are adorable. ❤

But let’s get back to the Big Day: my birthday! 🙂

Besides having the distinction of being my birthday, December 26th is Boxing Day, a holiday celebrated in the UK and Canada, although not here in the USA.

Still, our calendars in America always have a little inscription on the square for December 26th that says Boxing Day. For many years I mistakenly thought it had to do with the Boxer Rebellion:

The Boxer Rebellion, Boxer Uprising, or Yihetuan Movement was an anti-imperialist, anti-foreign, and anti-Christian uprising that took place in China between 1899 and 1901, toward the end of the Qing dynasty. Wikipedia

But Boxing Day has nothing at all to do with the Boxer Rebellion. According to The Spruce, Boxing Day is:

A ‘Christmas Box’ in Britain is a name for a Christmas present. Boxing Day was traditionally a day off for servants and the day when they received a ‘Christmas Box’ from the master. The servants would also go home on Boxing Day to give ‘Christmas Boxes’ to their families.

Boxing Day is a time to spend with family or friends, usually those not seen on Christmas Day itself. In recent times, the day has become synonymous with many sports. Horse racing is particularly popular with meets all over the country. Many top football teams also play on Boxing Day.

Boxing Day is also a time when the British show their eccentricity by taking part in all kinds of silly activities. These include bizarre traditions including swimming the icy cold English Channel, fun runs, and charity events.

My friend Melinda (‘Lady Babette Vitre de Dinan’ in the SCA) has for years longed to host a tea party on Boxing Day.

Who knows why?  What matters is that this year she did so, and a lovely Boxing Day Tea it was.

There were several teapots filled with different teas and lots of lovely food, including a really out-of-the-ordinary homemade pasta salad and homemade scones with clotted cream.

Since I like to read English novels, I’ve come across clotted cream many times on the page, but never in real life. It’s terrific on a scone!

Her Christmas tree was decorated with striking and unusual ornaments, including a figure playing a lute. Melinda had hand-sewn an ornament to give to each of us. Mine is a strawberry ice-cream cone with a cherry on top. 🙂

And of course the Boxing Day Tea also functioned as a birthday party for little ol’ moi.

Not a bad day for a birthday at all! ❤