Five days and counting ...

Five days and counting ...

Filled with a special spirit creating an inner warmth and memories, Christmas has to be the single most significant holiday observed around the world. It’s full of traditions that come from the joy of giving.

Traditions are perhaps the most fun.


With today marking the official beginning of winter, what better day to explore Christmas traditions?

“Boxing Day (Canada)” — a Dec. 26 calendar entry — got us started via an Encarta Research program. Boxing Day has apparently been around quite a while.

“Long ago, English gentry gave small gifts known as Christmas boxes to their servants on the day after Christmas. English custom still sets aside Boxing Day for tipping the delivery person and others who have performed personal services throughout the year. Many people in England also make charitable contributions to churches and to the needy on Boxing Day.”

An English heritage brought the tradition to Canada.


Apparently the observance carried over with many English people — specifically Jack Wassell, a longtime Madill resident and a true English gentleman who took an active role in his adopted home away from home. He was among several local seniors who took an interest in art, thanks to the generosity of Ava Broderick, a professional artist and teacher.

Eager to share with the community, the wannabe artists adopted an annual project to create and sell small art projects with all proceeds donated to the Heart Fund in the memory of Ken Hoyt, a one-time school superintendent.

Jack always had a kind word on his occasional drop-in visits. On one such trip he handed me a 3 1/2 by 4 1/2 irregular shaped slab of granite with a polished face painted with a jumping black bass and the inscription:

“God grant that I may live to fish until my dying day,
And when it comes to my last cast, I then most humbly pray,
When in the Lord’s landing net I’m peacefully asleep,
That in His mercy I be judged as big enough to keep.”

An efficient type, he took care of business and was on his way, though we wished he could have stayed longer.


A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour. ...and a joyful Christmas to one and all.