Many, many years ago I was invited to a neighbor’s house to celebrate Boxing Day. I thought this was a bit odd since I wasn’t a servant and I didn’t have any servants. I was soon introduced to an Americanized version of Boxing Day. The premise here was to bring a gift all wrapped up that was actually something you had previously received as a gift and either a) you didn’t want it because b) it was ugly or useless. Oh there were really some strange and odious gifts exchanged that day. The gift-giving was done in the manner of a Yankee Swap; You picked a gift and you kept it or traded it. Well, anyway that’s how that Boxing day went down.
This is how we began Boxing Day this year! We were all tired from the late night of Christmas Eve and the long day of Christmas night so everyone slept just a little bit later on Thursday morning. But right after breakfast without any formal plan set, it just began to unfold….The day after Christmas could only mean one thing! We MUST CLEAN! Perhaps it is some genetic pre-disposition or familial personality disorder, whatever it is, this is what happened.
Joel got the vacuum cleaner out and he began vacuuming the rugs, I took out the swifter and did the kitchen floor and the hallways and the foyer. I used about 6 swifter pads; There has been a horde of people going inside and out, through the garage, in from the pool and all about. The house was recently renovated and all the floors are now a white-washed wood and the swifter did its thing over and over again. I left piles for Joel to swoop up with the vacuum. Meanwhile, Chiara packed up gifts and swept up pine needles. I tackled the stairs next and was quite pleased to see the white of the treads re-appear. Elsewhere, dishes were washed, clothes washed and folded and the dishwasher emptied. It was a glorious morning, the house had been reclaimed and restored to its pristine beauty and we had taken on Boxing Day and given it an Italian twist.
There would be a Yankee Swap later that night after dinner. But first we had to do some preparing for tonight’s party. Oh yes, there WOULD be a party tonight, albeit not quite so large as yesterday but this one would be here! Only 15 adults and 6 kids. Chiara decided to make several baking dishes of Eggplant Parmesan, we would serve the pork loin left over from Christmas Eve and make a big salad and a bowl of quinoa.
Susan and JR were coming for dinner with their 3 boys, the youngest is Hunter who is a classmate of Finley’s. Susan brought a huge spiral cut ham and it’s a darn good thing she did since the pork loin did not cook through and we couldn’t serve it pink and cool. This party spread itself out through the house! We had kids (big and little) watching Elf and a couple other Christmas movies, adults out on the veranda, a couple of us in the dining room dishing on everything and everybody, Finley and a couple of the boys had a bow and arrows and were shooting at the front door and lots of wine drunk in all the rooms.
JR took the boys home, eventually both the girls went to bed and the die-hard game players gathered round in the living room to play some games. Joel had gone out with Chiara in the afternoon to buy some new games. Tonight we were going to play Quelf and Loaded Questions. We are hardcore, laughing, yelling, arguing and all the time playing to win! The wine kept flowing, there was some other mind-altering substances and as they say, “Let the games begin”! Quelf was hysterical as we watched Joel stand and try not to bend his arms and legs, Dennis had to sit on his hands, Justin did the color for a basketball game in the voice of a parrot as well as mind-bending tasks, some which were subject to group analysis. Overall one might observe it as familial blood-letting!
Loaded Questions is an adventure in delving into your fellow players psyche. Since I’ve already portrayed our family as the crazy bunch they truly are, you can only imagine how this game was played! I’d love to tell you about it but like the New York Times only all the news that’s fit to print. And on that note I think it’s time to close the chapter on Boxing Day with the Bertis/Clarks/Presses and Pucci’s came to an end.
Except for the Yankee Swap which was wildly funny as the swapping, trading, stealing took place. Those that participated seemed to have a grand time and I think perhaps the $50 bill was the prize of the evening!