THE DAY AFTER(08/12/2008)
Aquest article no està traduït al català; es mostra la seva versió en anglès
On Saint Stephen's Day.
CATALONIA TODAY – SECTION: LONG-TERM RESIDENT - ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-EIGHT
THE DAY AFTER
That Christmas Day is often fraught with intra-family tension is a secret so open it's practically a platitude. As I remember it from childhood, after every Christmas lunch me and my cousins would lie belly up in a bloated stupor on the outskirts of the dining table, while the grown-ups, still seated, went on inexplicably helping themselves to drink although there was no food left to make them thirsty. Our senses, blurred though they were by surfeit, managed to detect the mood brewing, if not the actual words being noisily voiced. Whenever one of these domestic discussions grew loud – and there wasn't a one but did – we young persons would crawl within kissing distance of the TV to watch James Bond murder his malformed enemies and get the girl. Eventually, the adults' kerfuffle would peter out like a faulty banger, and the day would end with my family's car's doors being slammed shut under a cobweb-grey sky and back home we'd drive and that would be Yuletide that.
The following day – called Boxing Day in the UK, from when the well-off would drop leftovers in the begging boxes of the hopeful poor – never failed to be a washout, marking as it did the first sign of droop in the until then universally sustained Xmas arousal. So what a pleasure it was to discover, decades later, that the Catalan version of Boxing Day - el Dia de Sant Esteve – is, on the contrary, celebrated to the hilt, with all the frills, just like a second Christmas. With the advantage that any tiffs on the 25th have passed into history, allowing us all to bask – glowing with genuine affection and healthily drunk - in the true Christmas spirit, kept on a firm hold, as it were, for 24 happier hours.