Thursday Thoughts #26 (yes, I know it's Saturday!)

"The occasional night when the loneliness ached so badly that it made you weep. The occasional gathering during which you wanted to escape to your empty apartment so badly you were willing to go out the bathroom window."
The above quote is from one of the Harry Dresden stories, but I can't remember which one.

Today's Thoughts:

Today is boxing day; when I was little I learned this was the day when the boxes from Christmas gifts were flattened and stored for future use, or if they were the decorated type made from sturdy cardboard with a lid, they were stacked inside each other, lids on, to save space, and stored to be used again. 

 I have some of these decorated boxes, they hold many of my tree ornaments, plus ropes of gold and red bead chains. 
I didn't receive them with a gift inside, as I've seen on old movies, but found them on sale for less than half price in a hardware/kitchenware/furniture store several years ago. Each box has Christmas scenes on the sides and the lid has a matching scene. 
I remember many movies where the box had a ribbon tied around it, when the ribbon was untied and the box lid lifted off, so many times a puppy or kitten would pop its little head up and the child recipient would squeal with joy. 

Modern movies have people handing things over in gift bags instead with just a bit of fancy coloured scrunched up tissue paper covering the gift inside the bag. 
An easy method for those who aren't good at wrapping I suppose, but I love gifts that are wrapped with lovely papers, ribbons or bows attached. Glittery, shiny, plain, multi coloured, doesn't really matter, the fun is in the opening. Who cares if the gift isn't professionally wrapped? Wrinkles, creases, too much sticky tape, all add to the fun and joy of opening. 

Some people open carefully so they can keep the paper and enjoy looking at it, others keep the paper to be used again the next year (my mum...I can hear her now, "don't waste it, it can be used again"), children tear into it and toss it aside in their hurry to see what's inside. No boxes to be stored there.

I've heard also that boxing day is referred to as such because that is the day many gifts are packed back into their boxes to be returned to the store for refund or exchange. This seems a little sad to me. Someone goes to a fair amount of effort to choose, wrap and give a gift, then the recipient takes it back for something they really want? 

I'm guessing this is one reason why giving money instead of a gift came about. Why bother choosing a gift when you know it will be returned to the store? 

When my kids were little, half the fun was watching them unwrap the things I'd chosen, same with grandkids. 
Now, I give gift cards, which equal cash, mostly because I don't know what my adult children and grandchildren want or need, they seem to already have everything, also because in the after Christmas sales, the monetary value of these cards can almost double, so if they are choosing clothes or kitchenwares, they'll get more. Two t-shirts for the price of one for instance. 

In other news, I've had a letter to the newspaper published! 
Just the local Messenger, the free weekly paper. 

There's been quite a few letters written there lately about people not picking up after their dogs. 

Other letters then reply with excuses such as "there were no free council supplied bags left in the dispenser so I couldn't pick up my dog's waste." Or words to that effect. 

After reading several weeks of these weak excuses, I got annoyed with these people and wrote my own letter. Told them where to go!

Cheap as chips!!
Buy your own bags!
Why rely on the council to supply "free" bags for you?
(They're not free, the money comes from taxpayers. That's you and me. And I don't even own a dog). 

Be responsible and provide your own bags. 
Any bag will do. 
Just pick up the poo and put it in the bin.


  1. 1. I just know you love telling me you are a full day ahead...its only Friday here girl.
    2. Boxing day for me means boxing up the decorations...I'm with you by the way, I love those gift cards.
    3. If you can afford a pet you can afford to look after it properly. We haven't sunk to providing free poop bags here and if it does happen you can bet this taxpayer will be complaining.

  2. I am a careful unwrapper and really appreciate the effort that someone has put into wrapping a gift. Perhaps because it is definitely NOT one of my skills.
    Love your letter - and agree wholeheartedly. It is a regulation here that you should clean up after your pet - but many people don't bother.

  3. When on the Bellarine I noticed a woman pull multiple bags from the pubic roll at the beach. A little guiltily she said to me, 'they always run out later in the day'. Err, yes they would when people take multiple bags in the morning. No bags in public is no excuse. So simple to take your own.

    When a gift arrives for us from our friend in Japan, the paper is always so nice and beautifully wrapped by the store where it was bought. I hate throwing the paper away, if fact I have kept some. It was fun watching my 9 month old great niece attempting to unwrap. It will be a different story next year.

  4. I like that quote/excerpt. Seems a little melancholy, yet I like it.

    I've always known "Boxing Day" to be a tradition dating back centuries, when employers, or lords of the manor, would "gift" tradespeople, servants and the poor, with a box containing food, small gifts/trinkets and sometimes hand-me-downs - which would've been luxuries back then.

    I like to smooth and keep wrapping paper.
    I love to make my own "belly bands" out of the paper, and tape little belts of pretty paper around brown kraft parcels, then tie with brown twine - looks really lovely.

    Good for you! Great letter you wrote, reminding people to be responsible for their dogs poo.
    I buy bulk lots of poo bags at the supermarket, and always have plenty tied to the handle of Jack's leash, so I never run out.
    There's really no excuse for not having bags on hand...

  5. Delores; another good way to use Boxing Day, I hadn't thought about that, I usually take my decorations down after the first week of January is over.

    Elephant's Child; it's regulation here too, but too many people ignore regulations . I used to keep paper and reuse any that wasn't torn or too wrinkled, but I had to remember not to use it for the person who gave it to me. Last year's paper is also good for littlies to wrap presents in.

    fishducky; I like fancy wrapping, but can't do it well. I learned my wrapping skills on 40 pound blocks of cheese, no fanciness required. My older daughter is the fancy wrapper in my family.

    Andrew; the same goes on here, people pull them out by the dozens just to have them on hand, it just doesn't occur to them that there won't be any left if too many people do that. I'm not sure how often the councils replenish the supply, but it isn't daily that's for sure.
    Store gift wrapping is beautiful, but where's the fun? Doing it yourself is better. I don't keep much paper anymore.

    Vicki; now that you mention it, I know about that old gifting tradition. I read it often in novels set in Victorian times.
    I did a few "belly bands" myself this year. I'd trim the paper I had to fit the gift and strips left over were wrapped around things that were awkward to wrap properly, for people I knew wouldn't mind.
    I hope people take notice of what I said, but I won't really know will I? At least they will know bags can be bought cheaply.

  6. I think you letter was wonderful and right to the point. When Phil used to take our dogs for a walk he would always pop a plastic bag of one kind or another in his pocket. In those days no bags were supplied by council or anyone else. People today want everything for free so they don't have to think.
    As my hands are so bad now many gifts aren't perfectly wrapped but do you know, I am sure nobody noticed that on Christmas Day. I still find our Secret Santa among the adult members of our family works perfect although this year Santa got held up so I still have a couple of gifts 'still to come'. We all make a list of items and the recipient of that list can buy whatever they find easiest up to the value of $100. It just works out so well and now out 18 y.o. g/granddaughter has joined in too which leaves us to buy gifts for the two youngest g/grandchildren. I can't get to the shops much so it has solved Christmas shopping for yours truly to perfection.
    When I put decorations up (didn't this year) I don't take them down until 12th night....just a tradition of mine. Mine are still in their box from last year and will keep another year. No point when nobody comes here and I just couldn't make myself do it this year so a long string of Christmas cards decorate our living room.
    Been meaning to ask you. Have you read much by Ed McBain? He was an author I'd not heard of even though he is now deceased. I've ordered two of his books on eBay. We got 3 Michael Rowbotham books for Christmas so lots of reading ahead of us in the new year.

  7. I have no skill at gift wrapping; it's bags and cards for me. Remember when we were children and dogs ran loose and pooped at will, for us to step in. I'm glad times have changed and people are at least expected to clean up.

  8. Too many folk today have lost the power to think and do for themselves...and that applies, too, when it comes to dog do!

  9. "I can't wipe my bottom any more because the local council doesn't supply toilet paper..." lol

  10. Who takes their dog for a walk without bringing a plastic bag with them? I must admit it has never entered my head to get annoyed at my council for not supplying free bags all the way along my walking route. I've been carrying my own bags like a chump!


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