Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Why Boxing Day? An Explanation

December 26, 2019
mandyevebarnett


All-Saints-Day-wallpapers-hd-1-1

The origins of ‘Boxing Day’ are steeped in history and in my naivety, I assumed everyone had or knew of Boxing Day. Growing up in England my understanding was that it was an old tradition to open gifts the day after as Christmas Day was spent in church and then feasting.

The exact etymology of the term ‘boxing’ is unfortunately unclear and although there are several competing theories, none are definitive. Money and other gifts were traditionally given to the needy and to those in service positions, such as servants. The European tradition goes back to the Middle Ages but its exact origin is still unknown. There have also been claims that it dates back to the late Roman/early Christian era. It is known that metal boxes were placed outside churches to collect special offerings tied to the Feast of Saint Stephen. In England it was the custom in the nineteen-century for Victorian tradesmen to collect their ‘Christmas boxes’ or gifts on the day after Christmas in return for good and reliable service throughout the year.

The name could also derive from another old English tradition, where wealthy landowners would allow their servants to have the 26th off work to visit their families in return for a smoothly run Christmas Day feast. Each servant was given a box containing gifts and bonuses and sometimes leftover food! Also around the 1800’s churches would open their alms boxes and distribute the contents to the poor. These boxes were filled with monetary donations from the wealthier members of the congregation.

No matter which version you would like to believe, Boxing Day is still an enjoyable holiday and one spent with family and friends, enjoying the ‘left overs’ and new gifts.

What will you be doing this Boxing Day?

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Genres of Literature – Fables

January 8, 2018
mandyevebarnett


fable

Fable is a story about supernatural or extraordinary people usually in the form of narration that demonstrates a useful truth. In Fables, animals often speak as humans that are legendary and supernatural tales. A literary genre: a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse, that features animals, legendary creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature that are  anthropomorphized (given human qualities, such as the ability to speak human language and that illustrates or leads to a particular moral lesson (a “moral”), which may at the end be added explicitly as a pithy maxim.

A person who writes fables is a fabulist.

The most famous fables are those of Aesop. Many of us were read these tales as children and they are still read to children today, in fact the moral’s within the stories are timeless.

Other cultures have there own fables, such as Africa’s oral culture with it’s rich story-telling tradition. India also has a rich tradition of fabulous novels, mostly explainable by the fact that the culture derives traditions and learns qualities from natural elements. In Europe fables has a further long tradition through the Middle Ages, and became part of European high literature. Unfortunately, in modern times while the fable has been trivialized in children’s books, it has also been fully adapted to modern adult literature.

Aesop  Hans Christian AndersonGeorge Orwell

My children’s chapter book, Ockleberries to the Rescue has magic woodland sprites helping their forest friends and they ‘talk’ to each other. The morals are that we need to care for each other and the environment.

http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/products/ockleberries-rescue

Ockleberries

Have you written a story with a moral? Care to share?

 

No Hope of Being a Recluse Today…

December 25, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Recluse – definition: a person who lives in seclusion or apart from society, often for religious mediation

Man Writing WEB

The sentence that came with the word of the day was:  The writer was a recluse all his life and never socialized.

I will have to dispute that. As writers we require social interaction to enable us to create believable and intriguing plots and fully rounded characters. People watching is one of my favorite pastimes and I’m sure many writers are the same. Observing gestures, and listening to speech and accents is actually research for our narratives. The following article reinforces my view.

Image from: http://storytime-vikth.blogspot.ca/2012/01/solitary-writer.html

Without my writing groups support, advice and encouragement I would not be the writer I am today. http://wfscsherwoodpark.com/

Of course when I am actually writing I do prefer to be alone but that is not always possible. To achieve the illusion of a recluse, I put in the headphones, turn on the music and ‘disappear’ into the realm of my narrative.

Today is a celebration and time for family so this post is short and sweet.

holly

Whatever your belief, enjoy the love of your family and friends today.

t-Books

Christmas Eve Traditions…

December 24, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Ubiquitous – definition: present, exiting or being everywhere, esp. at the same time

Xmas Eve

Today is a magical day all over the world. It may mean different things to different people but in the end it is special.

December 24 is the 358th day of the year (359th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are seven days remaining until the end of the year.

Christian Feast Day

Adela and Irmina

Eastern Orthodox liturgics
Christmas Eve (Christianity) and its related observances
Aofangadagskvold, the day when the 13th and the last Yule Lad arrives to towns. (Iceland)

Feast of the Seven Fishes (Italy)
Jul (Denmark, Norway) and (Sweden)
Nochebuena (Spain and Spanish-speaking countries)
The Declaration of Christmas Peace (Old Great Square of Turku, Finland’s official Christmas City)

Independence Day (Libya)

A few links to events on this day in history:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/december/24

http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/on-this-day/December-24/

http://www1.sympatico.ca/cgi-bin/on_this_day?mth=Dec&day=24

What are your traditions for this day?

One thing I miss dreadfully is proper Christmas pudding…it is just delicious!

Xmas Pud

An Excuse to Ingurgitate..?

December 21, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Ingurgitate – definition: to swallow greedily or in great quantity, as food

Christmas dinner

Firstly, a Merry Christmas to you all. I wish you health, wealth, love and flowing words for 2014.

The celebration of the festivities centers mainly around the Christmas Day meal. Traditionally, turkey is the bird of choice although duck, chicken, ham and vegetarian equivalents are among the other options available. Although if you read this link, you can find exceptional offerings :  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-502605/It-serves-125-takes-hours-cook-stuffed-12-different-birds—really-IS-Christmas-dinner.html

turkey

This combination in itself would be enough to try and consume without all the trimmings to go with it. I am sure there would be many weeks of sandwiches, crock-pot meals and leftover meals after this one.

So why do we eat to excess at these times? Is it greed, showing off to family and friends, a status symbol of our wealth? Or is it a celebration of abundance we are able to enjoy?

Or a symbol of love for those around us who have made our lives better for being in it?

This last option is the one I believe in, especially now, as I am thousands of miles away from my family. I will treasure the moments with my immediate family on Christmas Day this year. My choice of bird this Christmas is duck.

Take your choice of these explanations or comment on your own thoughts.

This link gives some insight from a British point of view.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/dec/22/eating-excess-christmas-british-tradition

What bird are you cooking? 

Image from : http://www.acageybee.com/decking-the-halls/145

xmas-typewriter

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