Today is Boxing Day, a holiday celebrated in Great Britain and most countries that were settled by the English except the United States. Some historians believe it started back in the Middle Age when the servants who had to work on Christmas Day took the next day off. As the servants left to visit their families, their employers would present them with gift boxes. Another theory is that the boxes placed in church to collect coins for the poor were opened and distributed on the day after Christmas. The tradition expanded over the years to include those that rendered any type of service. Now it includes gift giving to tradesman, mail carriers, doormen, porters and others who serve.*
For me, the day after Christmas was another shopping day. We generally went out as a family to shop the after-Christmas sales and to purchase gifts for Matt’s birthday, which is on the 27th. Though Matt would tell you he always got cheated because his birthday was two days after Christmas, that just wasn’t true. I always treated his birthday as a completely different event, never purchasing anything until Christmas was over. So the Brown family tradition was always shopping on Boxing Day. It’s sort of interesting that in Great Britain, today is their Black Friday.
But traditions change as our circumstances change. I had no desire to shop today. In fact, I wasn’t sure I was even going to get dressed and leave the house. I spent most of the day on the sofa reading. I wanted to finish the last fifty pages of my book – The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A brilliant young man that left Newark for the Ivy League – so I could count it in my reading challenge on Goodreads. And even though I knew the outcome because it was clearly stated on the book cover, I felt myself slipping into melancholy as I read the last few pages. And once I was done, I felt the need to write about it but couldn’t find the words. 
Fortunately, my husband invited me to go on a hike. We ventured about a half hour away from our house to Kennesaw Mountain, the highest point in metro Atlanta. 
About five minutes into the hike I began to have second thoughts. It was muddy and wet. Once we passed that, the incline sent both of our hearts racing to the point where conversation was no longer an option. Several times along the way I questioned whether or not the view was even worth it. But we persevered and boy was it worth it. 
I so enjoyed spending the afternoon in nature. The rocky terrain and fresh air challenged my body and renewed my mind. My husband and I  left park in a fabulous mood.  
Throughout the last 15 months, I’ve been so amazed at how healing nature can be. Though the unseasonably warm weather made it feel like summer today, I hope hiking will become our new Boxing Day tradition. 
Until next time. . .

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