Friday, December 26, 2008

And in this corner...

Even though it's almost over, you should spare a moment to think about Boxing Day. The definitive explanation of its name and its purpose can be found in this New York Times editorial. The author, Judith Flanders, argues that Americans could use a little bit of Boxing Day, provided that we stick with its original charitable purpose:

It would be good if Boxing Day were added to America’s list of legal holidays. (From over here, you look awfully light on time off anyway.) But not if it just became another day in the round of shop-eat-family-family-family.

Instead Boxing Day could return as a day of giving. Not necessarily cash — and not material to make uniforms — but rather one day a year to donate skills or effort, a day for sharing something of value in the larger community. Help someone whose first language isn’t English fill out driver’s license forms. Load an old lady’s iPod with Rogers and Hammerstein. Teach the boy next door to throw overhand, so the other kids stop teasing him.

What we really need to do is put down the punch bowl and pick up on what Punch magazine wrote more than 150 years ago: Don’t just keep “the Christmas of the belly: keep you the Christmas of the heart. Give — give.”
Fosco is onboard, except for that weird part about "teach the boy next door to throw overhand." That's pretty much like saying: "use your time to make the neighbor kid heterosexual." But, I suppose we don't have to take Flanders's advice. And, if your charitable contribution happens to involve a little foxy boxing, I think you should get double points in heaven.

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