The Day After
The day after Christmas was my father’s birthday. If he had not kicked the bucket over a third of a century ago he would be 98 years old today. I can’t imagine him sticking it out that long.
As a kid I always felt sorry for him that his birthday fell on the day after such a big holiday. How anti-climactic. Family and friends are all surely “celebrated out” by the time Christmas Day is ripped off the page-a-day calendar. When we kids did our Christmas shopping we always had to remember to buy two presents for Dad; one for Christmas and one birthday present for the day after. It was hard enough to just think of one present for him.
Mother never baked him a birthday cake like she did for us kids. I’m not sure if anyone else noticed but I sure did. Of course, after all that excessive holiday baking who wants to immediately start baking again? And besides, Dad was not much of a cake eater. Cake just did not go very well with beer.
My father was a natural born athlete. He excelled at every sport he ever indulged in. But there was one sport which he abhorred and which he would never indulge in; neither actively nor as a spectator. And that sport was boxing.
He called it, “Neanderthal.” He called it a celebration of violence. He called it a disgusting testosterone orgy. Okay, maybe that is me who calls it a disgusting testosterone orgy. But my father hated boxing and what he hated even more was his birthday being called, Boxing Day. He cringed whenever anyone would do that.
In love and deference to my father I also cringe when anyone calls the day after Christmas, Boxing Day. It is not Boxing Day, damn it! It’s my father’s birthday!
Yeah, yeah, I know that to Canadians the day after Christmas is an official national holiday known as Boxing Day. But it is so fucking cold up there that Canadians need to beat each other up in order to keep from freezing to death.
(My apologies to all Canadians. It’s just a joke.)
Seriously, you’ve got one holiday celebrating the birth of a messenger of love immediately followed by a holiday that celebrates the celebration of violence. Who the hell thought that up?