An evening conversation: Take the day off!

By Stephen Cameron

If you lived in Great Britain instead of eastern Kansas, you wouldn’t have had to work today.

You’d probably like fish and chips, too, and wonder if dour Prince Charles actually will become king.

But those are preferences to discuss another time, along with arguing over a favorite soccer team.

Those are pub chats. Our subject at the moment is a bit more serious.

Making the day after Christmas an official national holiday – it’s called Boxing Day in the United Kingdom, if you didn’t know – is a matter of common sense.

They have it (common sense), and in this case, apparently we don’t.

Seriously, who in the world feels like putting in a good, solid work shift less than 24 hours after celebrating Christmas with truckloads of food, family chaos and, oh, maybe a wee touch of demon rum?

It’s just plain silly.

If I owned a business, I’d declare Boxing Day a holiday all on my own, simply because I’d KNOW that my employees aren’t going to be worth the time and salary on the day after Christmas.

Think ahead one week: New Year’s Eve is another blowout for lots of people, and blessedly there is a legal holiday right behind it for rest, decompression (and large amounts of Excedrin, in many cases).

Now that makes sense.

But Christmas, when it falls in the middle of a normal work week?

It’s crazy, having people straggle out early – more or less – on Christmas Eve, hopefully enjoy a huge holiday feast with relatives who’ve come from all over the globe…and then have to leap out of bed for work the next morning.

Heck, it’s inhumane.

There are a lot of goofy things about the Brits, true enough. Have you ever tasted a pork pie?

On the matter of Boxing Day, however, they’ve gotten this one “nailed on” – to use a unique English expression.

By the way, the name of the holiday is as common and practical as the back fence.

Yes, it refers to “boxing” up all of your Christmas gifts – stuffing them in closets, taking back things that don’t fit, and so on.

When do Americans get around to that?

Oh, probably over weekend.

Until then, we trip over toys in the family room and look for that sweater we promised Aunt Myrtle we’d wear – except that it’s probably buried under a heap of wrapping paper, ribbons, trash, other gifts and maybe that last tray of deviled eggs.

Meanwhile, Brits have been kicking back, slowly putting the house in order, enjoying leftovers and conversation, watching Arsenal rally to whip West Ham United 3-1 to remain atop the Premier League, and casually letting the holiday drift away through a comfortable, natural course .

And over here…

You’ve probably felt awful most of the day, so before you give up for the night, do something useful.

Write your representative in Congress. Or the White House. Or Oprah. Or somebody. Anybody.

Demand that the United States of America adopt Boxing Day.

C’mon…we’ve waited too long already.

Steve Cameron is executive of The Mercury. Follow Steve on Twitter: @stevecameron100.

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