Clear out clutter before the holidays to make space for new items. In England, the day after Christmas is Boxing Day and it is a bank holiday.
When I first moved to England, I thought it had something to do with the sport. It actually comes from the tradition of giving the help the day off after Christmas (because they were working on Christmas Day looking after you). Traditionally, you’d give them a box that could contain a gift, cash bonus and food.
Now, as there are very few people who have hired help these days, the tradition of Boxing Day is celebrated differently. We now box up toys and clothes to donate to charity. On occasion, we’re invited to share leftover Christmas dinner in a casual buffet at a friend’s house. We all contribute leftovers from the day before to make another feast. It is also traditional to tip the trash collectors, mail people and any other person who provides regular service throughout the year. I like how the tradition has morphed in England and think it is a fine one to bring across the pond.
However, my twist on the holiday has been to encourage the kids to think about donating their old toys to charity before Christmas. Our hope is that families in need can use these toys to surprise their own children. I finally persuaded my 14-year-old daughter that the stuffed animals weren’t doing anyone any favors mouldering away in the attic in a big plastic box. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone younger could have them to play with and truly give them a bit of love? She agreed to clear out these toys. We took a black trash bag full of her furry friends to charity. But before we could do that, a single mom at the gym scooped them up in delight for her toddlers. She said she now has a stock of gifts on hand for the next few years!
We now make a point to clear out and collect the things we don’t use any more from around the house. So, we collect novels and cookbooks we won’t read again, household appliances that we don’t use, and other items. We then give them to charity shortly after Thanksgiving so that they have a chance of getting back into use.
This not only helps the local community, but also ensures that we’ll have space for new things that arrive over the holiday season under our Christmas tree.
Taking time to clear out the clutter is a great thing to do at any point in the year. However, it is especially helpful during the holidays. Since so many families have had a hard time this year, this small effort to clear out clutter could help make someone else’s life a little better.
Have a wonderful holiday season!
Talane and the team at LifeCoach