December 26, 2011
Today is the traditional British holiday reserved after Christmas to celebrate the servants–those stalwart workers who keep the manor house running, make the holiday go smoothly, and generally make life much more enjoyable for the upper classes.
The “box” in Boxing Day refers to the the vehicle for enclosing the gift for the servants (and not for the fisticuffs I imagined when I first heard the term.)I say we co-opt this day and turn it into an American celebration of public servants, those handmaidens to government and the collective good who make our lives run much more smoothly.
So, cheers, to the guy who came by two days before Christmas and collected the remaining leaves on our street. Their duties were delayed by the extensive cleanup needed after the surprise Halloween snowstorm that brought down limbs and trees all over town. They cleaned that up too.
To the firefighters who show up night and day to correct our wrongs. To the police who patrol our streets in the dead of night. The snowplow operators who go out in the worst of the weather. To the mail carriers, the emergency technicians, the road and bridge builders. To all the invisible workers who keep everything humming.
And, of course, to teachers, who make every other occupation possible.
Reprinted with permission of the author.