Boxing Day

Today was Boxing Day, and something about the holiday has always bothered me. This is, quite clearly, still Christmas. Even if it hadn't fallen on a Saturday, most people would have spent today off. Several of course would have been involved in the Boxing Day crowds at the mall, but many others would be going out to visit family. Especially in the modern days of multiple divorced families, you would expect that Boxing Day is another chance to spend time with family that couldn't be accommodated yesterday. I know myself, one aunt always hosts a Christmas family get-together and another hosts one on Boxing Day.

So why was it on the drive today we couldn't listen to Christmas music?

Edmonton had two stations this year playing Christmas music, and I believe both started on the first day of December (they may have started on the weekend of December 5th, I personally don't start listening to Christmas music until the 20th of the month). However, for some unfathomable reason both switched to their normal music this morning.

Why would they do this? I can understand ending Christmas music on December 27th and/or the next working day (so this year December 28th would be the switchover day), but for the life of me I can't understand the logic of ending early. Not only is there another day off where family get together for a Christmas dinner, but if you're a kid the day after Christmas feels more like a holiday than the actual Christmas.

It fits in a traditional sense, too. One of the songs you may have heard on either station was "Twelve Days of Christmas", and what you may not know is that proper Twelvetide starts on Christmas Day (ie. the "first day of Christmas" where you get the partridge in the pear tree). In other words, the Christmas season doesn't end on Boxing Day: if anything, it should start then.

While in North America we don't do extended Christmas like they do across the pond (though, as Mark Steyn notes, Canada is closer to England than America on this topic), Christmas season doesn't end on the morning of Boxing Day.

So please, next year keep playing the music for one more day.

Or perhaps not. One of the things I noticed was how few Christmas songs the radio stations were playing: Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Feliz Navidad, Jingle Bell Rock, All I Want for Christmas is You, Sleigh Ride, and that new Taylor Swift one. Half of the songs were just the same artists too, so not even any variety there. I didn't hear We Three Kings, White Christmas, or Marshmallow World once over three days. There's a huge catalogue of Christmas music radio stations keep missing.