Many people in Canada have a day off work and many of them visit stores that start their annual sales on Boxing Day. Some shoppers even start waiting outside stores in the small hours of the morning and many stores open earlier than usual. Now, the sales often last for a whole week between Christmas Day and New Year's Eve and are known as the "Boxing Week Sales" instead of the "Boxing Day Sales". In some areas, particularly in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario, stores are not open on Boxing Day and the post-Christmas sales start on December 27.
A number of important sporting events are held on Boxing Day and watching them on television is a popular activity. The International Ice Hockey Federation world junior hockey championships often start on December 26. The Canadian National team often does well in this event. The Spengler Cup ice hockey tournament, which is played in Davos, Switzerland, is also shown on major sports television channels. The Canada national men's team has performed well in this event in recent years.
Boxing Day is a federal holiday and is listed in the Canadian Labour Code as a holiday. However, it is not uniformly observed in all provinces and territories. It is not an official holiday in Quebec, nor is it a statutory holiday in Alberta and British Columbia. In practice, many organizations and businesses are closed, although stores are often open.
In some communities, particularly in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador, stores are not open. Post offices across the country are closed. As Boxing Day falls in the Christmas holiday period, schools are closed. Public transport services may run a normal or reduced service, or provide no service.When Boxing Day falls on a Sunday or Saturday that is a non-working day, workers are entitled to a holiday with pay on the working day immediately preceding or following the general holiday.
Boxing Day is a holiday in the United Kingdom and many countries (including Canada) that were once part of the British Empire. The origin of this holiday's name is not clear. In feudal times in the United Kingdom, the lord of the manor would 'pay' people who worked on his land in the past year with boxes practical goods, such as agricultural tools, food and cloth. These were often distributed on the day after Christmas Day. More recently, employers traditionally gave their servants a gift of money or food in a small box on the day after Christmas Day. Some people in Canada still give gifts to people who provide them with services.
Other stories relate to servants being allowed to take a portion of the food left over from the Christmas celebrations in a box to their families and the distribution of alms from the church collection boxes to poor parishioners. These traditions evolved into the Christmas baskets that some employers distribute to their employees during the holiday season at the end of the year.
National Candy Cane Day
A candy cane is a hard cane-shaped candy stick. It is traditionally white with red stripes and flavored with peppermint (also known as a peppermint stick); however, it is also made in a variety of other flavors and may be decorated with stripes of different colors and thicknesses. The candy cane is a traditional candy surrounding the Christmas holiday in North America, although it is possible to find them throughout the year.
The candy cane was originally a straight, hard, and all-white candy stick invented by French priests in the early 1400s. The cane shape is traditionally credited to a choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral in Germany, who, legend has it, in 1670 bent straight sugar sticks into canes to represent a shepherd's staff, and gave them to children at church services. Another theory is that, as people decorated their Yule trees with food, the bent candy cane was invented as a functional solution. Candy with red stripes first appeared in the early 1900s. Postcards before 1900s show only white colored candy canes.
In recent years, apocryphal origin stories for the candy cane have become popular. Usually they suggest the candy cane was invented by an American Protestant, usually described as being an unnamed candy maker in 1870s Indiana, to represent Jesus. These stories typically suggest that the white of the candy cane represents Jesus's purity, the bold red stripes represents crucifixion, and the three thin red stripes stand for the Holy Trinity. This legend further posits that the general shape is for the "J" in Jesus, as well as perhaps to resemble a shepherd's cane.
National Thank You Note Day
Think about it for a second. Was it when the barista at your local coffee shop handed you your lunch-break lattè this afternoon? Or when your significant took out the trash last night, just because they know you hate it, and the sofa was just so warm? Was it Monday, after a co-worker had gone the extra mile to make sure you had a copy of a report you needed?
Or has it been longer than that?
We all get caught up in the everyday business of life that we forget to be mindful of living. It’s so easy in our hyper-speed world to forget the small moments of connection that define what it is to be human, including the moments when we can express gratitude for things both great and small.
Today is National Thank You Day, the perfect opportunity to pause and express your gratitude for the people in your life. While an email is nice, and a phone call is fine, take five minutes and go the extra length with a handwritten note. It doesn’t have to involve expensive stationery and a fountain pen; even a sheet of binder paper and a pencil will do the trick.
The beauty of a handwritten note is that it’s a tangible and personal expression of your appreciation. It signifies that you took the time to focus solely on them, that you cared enough for the recipient to create something meant only for their eyes. They say that letter-writing a lost art, and like any artist, you are creating something that will last, both on a piece paper and in a person’s memory.
Generations before mine saved love letters and other notes by stacking them neatly and tying them together with blue ribbon. I somehow doubt that years from now, when my grandchildren are going through my effects, a pile of printed out emails and text messages will hold the same allure, no matter what ribbon I use to bind them.
They say a person’s handwriting reveals secrets about their personality in a way that a text message or tweet never could. Whether chicken scratch or elegant script, your handwriting will hold allure for the reader, because it is an extension of yourself. No matter how many emoticons and “LOLs” you sprinkle throughout a digital message, the level of personal investment just isn’t the same. It’s a risky proposition, letter writing. You lay it out on the line.
So start small. Start with a written thank-you note for a great cup of coffee, an extra five minutes on the sofa, a job well done. It doesn’t have to be long, it just has to say thank you. It’s only just past 2:00 in California, barely 5:00 back east. You still have plenty of time.
National Whiner's Day
In other words, it’s time to celebrate National Whiner’s Day.
Rev. Kevin Zaborney, in 1986, designated December 26 as National Whiner’s Day. Rev. Zaborney founded the Holiday in hopes of encouraging people to be thankful for what they have, rather than unhappy about what they don’t have.
But WE don’t have to follow those guidelines, DO we?
Each year, the most famous whiner(s) is announced, from nominations accepted through December 15. Lindsay Lohan won the dubious honor for 2010. The website for National Whiner’s Day states, “Lindsay Lohan has continued to whine about her circumstances and appears to people to be simply ‘missing the point’. Despite Ms. Lohan’s whining and lacking a need to accept responsibility for her issues, it is hoped she can benefit from her treatment and return as a better and more giving person.”
But you know what? The National Whiner’s Day site hasn’t been updated in two years, but its parent, the National Hugging Day site, is current. So what should we get from that – that hugging is better, more important, more VITAL than whining? Who determined THAT?!? What, we’re not good enough for your damned site?
Suggestions for Celebrating National Whiner’s Day:
- Visit a shopping mall or retail store and watch people “whine” as they return and exchange their holiday gifts (remember, it’s not only the customers who whine).
- Invite friends over, or plan a party, and call it a “Whine and Geeze” party! Serve non-alcoholic wine and cheese!
- Again, invite friends to a National Whiner’s Day party. In order to get in, your friends need to bring one unwanted gift, wrapped, for a white elephant exchange.
- Hold a whining contest at home or with friends, and invite a radio or television station to broadcast the event. Award the winner with a funny certificate or trophy. Make it more fun by scoring not only the whine quality, by on the whining itself. For example, “Ohhhhh, mooomm. Do I havvvvve to cleeeeean my roooomm?”
- Kanye West
- Chris Brown
- Zsa Zsa Gabor
- “Baghdad Bob,” former Iraqi Information Minister, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf.
- Sen. Jesse Helms, R. N.C.
- Tammy Faye Bakker (Messner)
- Dennis Rodman
- Mike Tyson
- Jerry Springer
- Martha Stewart
- Terrorist Osama bin Laden-The Taliban/al-Qaida
- John Rocker-Atlanta Braves Pitcher
- Stan Laurel
- Curly Joe
- Jerry Lewis
- Lucy Ball
- Pee Wee Herman
- Olive Oyle
- Major Frank Burns
- S.N.L. Whiner Family (Doug and Wendy Whiner)
- Miniature violin
- Weeping willow tree
- The Crying Game video
Here’s a definition of ironic — our friend Carla here responded to a post about National Whiner’s Day with this little gem …
December 26, 2011 at 7:43 am
So true. Whining is the pits! It’s also St. Stephen’s Day and Boxing Day. I’m betting there’ll be more whining going on in the US of A, though, than celebrating either one of those two! Would you believe a lot of the stores opened at 6am for returns? UGH!
Nothing like whining about a post about whining while condemning that whining!
We can be a nation of entitled whiners. “It’s too cold.” “I am the only one around here who does anything.” “I didn’t get what I wanted for Christmas.” “The government is doing it to us again.” “Blah, blah, blah” or should I say “whine, whine, whine.”
You open the newspaper, you watch the news, you log-on to your social networking accounts and you are bombarded by those around you who are whining and complaining.
Definition of Whine: To complain or protest in a childish fashion.
Synonyms: complain, bellyache, fuss, gripe, grumble, moan, groan, rant, bitch, snivel….
But what do you do when it is a co-worker or another adult who is whining?
Hunger, tiredness, boredom and feeling unwell are factors that can precipitate whining sessions, but some have learned from a very early age that whining gets them the attention that they are seeking. Whining has become second nature and their predominant way of communicating. Their behaviour is draining on relationships and it can poison a workplace, or it can improve our relationships and our jobs — it all depends how you go about it.
Hot Tips for National Whiner’s Day:If we catch ourselves whining:
- First, congratulate yourself. Very few people have the courage or the moral fiber to see what is truly wrong with the world and express it out loud.
- Focus not on problem solving, but upon making every else feel miserable. It is okay to vent, but that venting must be followed by spreading nastiness and moodiness, otherwise it is just whining for whining’s sake.
- Try to see if anything in particular sets off your whining attitude. Are you fighting a cold? Sleep-deprived? Feeling unfulfilled or under appreciated? Knowing what sets your whining in motion can help you to bring it on whenever necessary.
- Listen to your own voice. Is this really the way you want others to hear you? Yes? Good.
- Understand that they are looking for attention, but give them attention for solving the issue, not for whining about the issue. For the whining part, just give points — a scale of 1–10 is recommended.
- Ignoring them may not be a productive strategy as they may do more whining or bring others into their whining circle in order to get their need for attention met. You’ll end up losing the whining championship that year.
- Move them forward. Ask them what they are going to do about the issue and don’t let them get stuck just replaying and whining about the situation. Make them end their whine so that yours will shine!
- Sometimes in close relationships, we can point out that the person is using their ‘whiny’ voice, but be careful, or you may quickly be faced with their angry voice. Or their angry 12-gauge shotgun.
- Finally, minimize the amount of time that you spend with the whiner. They will zap your energy if you aren’t careful, and you need to save that energy for your OWN whining.
Whining is good for our healthWhining is good for our health. Especially when a problem in one’s life is a recurring one – work, money, children, marriage, chronic illness, aging, etc. – we need to complain about it out loud. The question is how to do this and keep our job and our friends.
The concept that whining is good seems to fly in the face of all the positive thinking ideology. This is not true. One can have a positive outlook on life and still whine. We just cannot “look at the bright side” of disaster all the time. We need to be able to complain – to get it out of our system so we can go back to living. Denial is quite detrimental to our health.
Here are my five basic rules on the topic:
- Pick wisely to whom you whine and about what – some people can endlessly listen to your aches and pains, while others are good at family dynamics. Others just can’t listen at all.
- Figure out how much time you can get away with before you open your mouth – this is very important, so that you can whine with this person again. If you go on forever, you won’t get to do it again next week. I recommend getting an iPhone app to schedule your whines.
- Appear to change the topic of the whine – at least give it a new twist. This will throw off your listeners — whining jiu-jutsu!
- When whining to same person, always make it seem like things have improved from the last whine. This will lull them into a false sense of security, and THAT is when you can drop the hammer.
- Most important: be open to humor. If the person to whom you are whining knows that they can laugh, you’ll get more time and will be able to whine to them again. Always think of the future whines!
Knowing how to whine and to whom you can whine safely is a very important thing, as being able to express our feelings and complaints openly is good for our health. Our problems aren’t funny, but we do need humor – and other people – to survive them.