Saturday Surprise — Good People Doing Good Things!

I was pondering what to do for a Saturday Surprise post yesterday evening when I read a story from late December in The Washington Post that warmed my heart.  It’s really a good people story, so I pondered saving it for Wednesday, but … who says we can’t have a second dose of heartwarming at the end of another crazy week, eh?  So … grab your box of tissues and read about a disabled man and the young woman who saved his life …


A disabled man was stuck in a Buffalo snowbank. A stranger heard his cry and saved him.

‘This kind woman came out and heard a human being in deep distress and did something about it,’ said Ray Barker.

By Sydney Page

27 December 2022

At 7:30 a.m. on Christmas Eve, Yvonne White got a call from an unknown number.

“Hi. You don’t know me, but I have your brother,” a shaky voice on the other end of the line said.

It was Sha’Kyra Aughtry, a Buffalo resident, who had rescued White’s brother, Joey, amid the deadly winter storm that began battering Western New York a few days prior.

Joey White, 64, is mentally disabled, his sister said. She called him just before the storm hit, sternly instructing him not to leave the group home where he lives. He promised her he would stay put.

But as Buffalo’s worst blizzard in 50 years pummeled the city, Joey White — who also goes by Joe — ventured outside.

It’s unclear what time Joey White left home or for what purpose, Yvonne White said, but she suspects he walked about nine miles to the North Park Theatre — a single-screen cinema where he has worked as a janitor since 1980. She believes he got scared and spent the night there inside, and eventually decided to walk back home.

Joey White’s employer, Ray Barker — the program director at North Park Theatre — also called him on Dec. 22 before the blizzard began, telling him not to come to work.

“For someone who’s used to being in a pattern, I think it’s hard not to engage that pattern,” said Barker, explaining that during the pandemic, when the theater was closed, Joey White still showed up for work. “Joe is used to his pattern.”

Around 6:30 a.m. on Dec. 24, Joey White ended up in a snowbank, directly outside Aughtry’s home, which is about a seven-minute drive from the theater, in normal conditions. He was wailing and crying out in agony, Aughtry told Yvonne White.

Aughtry — who did not respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post — heard the stranger screaming, and found him outside, completely disoriented. She went into the storm with her boyfriend, and they carried Joey White into their home, Yvonne White said.

Joey White had visible signs of severe frostbite. Aughtry told Yvonne White she used a hairdryer to peel off his clothing, which clung tightly to his shivering body. She also cut off his frozen socks and removed the remnants of a grocery store bag that were cemented to Joey White’s hands. Aughtry sent Yvonne White photos of her brother’s skin, which look severely swollen and covered in multicolored blisters and sores.

After about an hour of trying to warm him up, Aughtry — a mother of three boys, ages 5, 6 and 13 — called Yvonne White. Joey White had memorized his sister’s phone number.

“The simple fact that he remembered my phone number is miracle number one,” said Yvonne White, 60, adding that she and Aughtry stayed in constant communication from then on.

Hearing about her brother’s state was “just heartbreaking,” Yvonne White said, especially because she had no way of getting there to help, as she lived about 20 miles away and roads were glazed in ice and snow.

“Sha’Kyra was telling me that he was literally frozen,” Yvonne White said. “She covered him up, she did everything for this man. She washed his clothes, she bathed him, she fed him.”

Still, despite all Aughtry had done to treat his wounds, he urgently needed medical attention. Getting help, though, was seemingly impossible.

“We called 911 easily 100 times,” Yvonne White said. “We tried everything.”

“With the blizzard, all of the emergency services have been affected,” said Barker, adding that Aughtry also contacted the theater to let staff know about Joey White’s condition. “We’ve been worried sick about him.”

“We were flipping out and crying,” Yvonne White said. “It was just getting worse and worse.”

In a desperate cry for help on Dec. 25 — one full day after Joey White showed up outside her house — Aughtry posted a live video on Facebook, which was widely watched.

“I’ve been very private and sensitive about this situation,” said Aughtry, who explained the crisis, adding that she had exhausted all options for getting medical help. “I have literally called everybody under the sun.”

“I’m asking for help from whoever,” she continued. “This man needs serious help.”

Yvonne White also posted a plea in a local Facebook group, and within half an hour, countless neighbors offered to help, and several showed up to plow around Aughtry’s home. They wrapped Joey White in a warm blanket, and carefully transported him to the Erie County Medical Center. Aughtry accompanied him for the ride.

“I’m so glad that y’all came,” Aughtry said in a video recording.

“I’m right here. You okay?” she reassured Joey White on the way to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with fourth-degree frostbite. “Nothing’s going to happen. Just breathe.”

The story was first shared by Sweet Buffalo, a local news organization, and then took off on social media. North Park Theatre staff set up GoFundMe pages for both Joey White and Aughtry.

He is being treated in the trauma unit, and “the physician who is seeing him won’t know how he’ll come through this until time goes by,” Barker said. “We are very much hoping that they will not have to amputate any of his fingers.”

Above all, though, Barker is grateful that Joey White — who he described as a “gentle soul” with a strong work ethic and a love of sports (especially baseball) — is alive. That is all owed, he said, to Aughtry.

“This kind woman came out and heard a human being in deep distress and did something about it, which most people in this day and age wouldn’t necessarily do,” he said, adding that the theater is planning to do something to honor Aughtry. “She saved his life.”

“Her act was an act of goodness, it was an act of charity, it was an act of empathy, it was an act of care,” Barker continued. “Joe won’t be able to express his gratitude fully, but he will feel it emotionally.”

Yvonne White, too, is overwhelmed with relief and appreciation that her big brother is safe.

“This stranger opened up her heart and opened up her home,” said Yvonne White, who is asking for people to send get-well cards to her brother to comfort him during his hospital stay. “I cannot wait to hug her.”

For more reasons than one, this was far from the holiday she hoped for, but amid the suffering and misfortune, Yvonne White found a silver lining.

“I feel that Joey and I now have a sister and a brother and three nephews,” she said. “This was such a Christmas miracle.”

Honouring Dr. Martin Luther King …

Today is Martin Luther King Day, a federal holiday in the United States to honour one of the greatest men who ever lived in this country.  I first wrote this tribute to Dr. King in 2017, and each year I reprise it, with slight changes or minor additions, for I find that it still says exactly what I wish to say.  Given the increase in racism in the United States in recent years, I think the above quote seems more apt today than ever before.  Over the past year, we have seen many efforts to ban the teaching of historical racism in our schools on the grounds that it might “make white children feel bad”.  BULLSHIT!!!  There is more than enough blame to go ’round for the racism in this nation and we ALL must bear our share.  So please, take just a minute to, if nothing else, listen once again to Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  In these troubled times, it is good to be reminded of Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream.  More than ever, I wish we had a few Dr. Martin Luther Kings fighting for equality and justice for all today.


“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.” 

“That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing.”

mlk-3Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on 15 January 1929.  He would have been 94 years old yesterday, had he lived. On this day, we celebrate not only his life, but also his legacy. Martin Luther King Day celebrates not only Dr. King, but the movement he inspired and all those who helped move forward the notion of equal rights for ALL people, all those who worked tirelessly during the civil rights era of the 1960s, as well as those who are continuing the good fight even in this, the year 2023.  Dr. King’s fight lives on, even though we have moved further away than before from his dream.

Dr. King, along with President John F. Kennedy, was the most moving speaker I have ever heard.  To this day, I cannot listen to his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech without tears filling my eyes.  If you haven’t heard it for a while, take a few minutes to watch/listen … I promise it will be worth your time.

This post is both a commemoration and a plea for us to carry on the work that was only begun, not yet finished, more than five decades ago.  Today we should remember some of the great heroes of the civil rights movement, those who worked tirelessly, some who gave their lives, that we could all live in peace and harmony someday: Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Nelson Mandela, Nina Simone, Mary McLeod Bethune, Lena Horne, Marva Collins, Rosa Parks, W.E.B. Du Bois, Malcolm X, Roy Innes, Medgar Evers, Stepen Bantu Biko, Booker T. Washington, John Lewis, Percy Julian, Marcus Garvey, Desmond Tutu, E.D. Nixon, James Meredith, and so many more.  I am willing to bet there are some on this list of whom you’ve never heard, or perhaps recognize the name but not the accomplishments. If you’re interested, you can find brief biographies of each of these and more at Biography.com .

Yet, while we celebrate the achievements of Dr. King and the others, there is still much to be done. Just look around you, read the news each day. Think about these statistics:

  • More than one in five black families live in households that are food insecure, compared to one in ten white families
  • Almost four in ten black children live in a household in poverty, nearly twice the rate of other racial groups
  • Among prime-age adults (ages 25 to 54), about one in five black men are not in the labor force, nearly twice the rate of other racial groups
  • Although blacks and whites use marijuana at approximately the same rate, blacks are over 3 and a half times more likely to get arrested for marijuana possession
  • For every dollar earned by a white worker, a black worker only makes 74 cents
  • Black families are twice as likely as whites to live in substandard housing conditions
  • Black college graduates now have twice the amount of debt as white college graduates
  • The likelihood of a black woman born in 2001 being imprisoned over the course of her lifetime is one in 18, compared to 1 in 111 for a white woman
  • Similarly, the likelihood of a black man being imprisoned is 1 in 3, compared to 1 in 17 for a white man
  • Of black children born into the bottom 20 percent of the income distribution, about half of them will still be there as adults, compared to less than one-quarter of white children

Data courtesy of the Brookings Institute – for charts and supporting details of above date, please click on link. 

And of course the above data does not even touch upon the recent spate of hate crimes, racial profiling, and police shootings against African-Americans.  There is still much of Dr. King’s work to be accomplished. But who is left to do this work?  Most of the leaders of yore are long since gone. There are still noble and courageous people out there carrying on the programs and works of Dr. King and the others, but their voices are perhaps not as loud, and there are none so charismatic as the late Dr. King.

In the current environment of racial divisiveness, we need more than ever to carry on what Dr. King only started. Instead, the past several years have found our nation backtracking on civil and human rights in a number of areas, ranging from discriminatory travel bans against Muslims to turning a federal blind eye to intentionally racially discriminatory state voter-suppression schemes, to opposing protections for transgender people, to parents demanding a re-write of our history to salve their own consciences.  I think Dr. King would be appalled if he returned to visit today.

In a speech on April 12th, 1850, then-Senator and future President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis said:

“This Government was not founded by negroes nor for negroes, but by white men for white men.” [1]

That was wrong then, it is wrong today, and it will always be wrong.  That is what Dr. Martin Luther King fought against, that is what I rail and sometimes rant against, that is why we need activists and groups dedicated to fighting for equality for all people … today, tomorrow, and forever.

Here is a bit of trivia you may not know about Dr. King …

  • King’s birth name was Michael, not Martin.
    The civil rights leader was born Michael King Jr. on January 15, 1929. In 1934, however, his father, a pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, traveled to Germany and became inspired by the Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther. As a result, King Sr. changed his own name as well as that of his 5-year-old son.

  • King entered college at the age of 15.
    King was such a gifted student that he skipped grades nine and 12 before enrolling in 1944 at Morehouse College, the alma mater of his father and maternal grandfather. Although he was the son, grandson and great-grandson of Baptist ministers, King did not intend to follow the family vocation until Morehouse president Benjamin E. Mays, a noted theologian, convinced him otherwise. King was ordained before graduating college with a degree in sociology.


  • King’s “I Have a Dream” speech was not his first at the Lincoln Memorial.
    Six years before his iconic oration at the March on Washington, King was among the civil rights leaders who spoke in the shadow of the Great Emancipator during the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom on May 17, 1957. Before a crowd estimated at between 15,000 and 30,000, King delivered his first national address on the topic of voting rights. His speech, in which he urged America to “give us the ballot,” drew strong reviews and positioned him at the forefront of the civil rights leadership.


  • King was imprisoned nearly 30 times.
    According to the King Center, the civil rights leader went to jail 29 times. He was arrested for acts of civil disobedience and on trumped-up charges, such as when he was jailed in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1956 for driving 30 miles per hour in a 25-mile-per-hour zone.


  • King narrowly escaped an assassination attempt a decade before his death.
    On September 20, 1958, King was in Harlem signing copies of his new book, “Stride Toward Freedom,” in Blumstein’s department store when he was approached by Izola Ware Curry. The woman asked if he was Martin Luther King Jr. After he said yes, Curry said, “I’ve been looking for you for five years,” and she plunged a seven-inch letter opener into his chest. The tip of the blade came to rest alongside his aorta, and King underwent hours of delicate emergency surgery. Surgeons later told King that just one sneeze could have punctured the aorta and killed him. From his hospital bed where he convalesced for weeks, King issued a statement affirming his nonviolent principles and saying he felt no ill will toward his mentally ill attacker.


  • King’s mother was also slain by a bullet.
    On June 30, 1974, as 69-year-old Alberta Williams King played the organ at a Sunday service inside Ebenezer Baptist Church, Marcus Wayne Chenault Jr. rose from the front pew, drew two pistols and began to fire shots. One of the bullets struck and killed King, who died steps from where her son had preached nonviolence. The deranged gunman said that Christians were his enemy and that although he had received divine instructions to kill King’s father, who was in the congregation, he killed King’s mother instead because she was closer. The shooting also left a church deacon dead. Chenault received a death penalty sentence that was later changed to life imprisonment, in part due to the King family’s opposition to capital punishment.

Dr. King fought and ultimately gave his life for the values I believe in, the values that should define this nation, though they often do not.  Dr. Martin Luther King was a hero of his time … thank you, Dr. King, for all you did, for the values you gave this nation, and for the hope you instilled in us all that your dream will someday come true.

[1] (Kendi, 2016)   stamped

Note:  Our friend TokyoSand has written a post with ideas for how each of us can help carry on Dr. King’s legacy … I hope you’ll pay her a visit!

Good People Doing Good Things: Merry Christmas Jay

Nothing quite like the blizzard of the century right at Christmas time to bring out the good people!  I found story after story of people helping others during the pre-Christmas blizzard … delivering pizzas to warming centers for the homeless, rescuing an elderly disabled man with severe frostbite, a barber turning his shop into a shelter, and much more, but the one I’m about to share with you is the one that stood out most in my mind.


Most of the time, you’d have the police breathing down your neck, maybe even chasing after you with a pair of handcuffs if you broke out a window in a school, then broke into the school.  But the police are calling the man who broke into Edge Academy in Buffalo, New York, on Christmas Eve a hero.  You may remember that Buffalo was probably the single hardest hit city in the U.S. by the blizzard named Elliott, with up to six feet of snow in some places!

On Friday, the day before Christmas Eve, a man named Jay, a mechanic in the town of Cheektowaga near Buffalo, had ventured out to help a friend whose car was trapped in the snow, but instead got caught in the snow himself.  And he wasn’t alone!  The first night, Jay rescued two strangers, Mike and Mary, by letting them sleep in his truck. The next morning, he was close to running out of fuel. One of the strangers was an elderly woman who needed to use a bathroom.

Checking his phone’s GPS he noticed that a school was nearby. Using an extra set of brake pads, Jay smashed through a window of the school so he could open the front door and let Mike and Mary in, with the security alarm blaring.  And on the journey to the school, Jay noticed a number of stranded cars, some occupied by elderly people.  He helped guide everyone inside the school where he scavenged for cereal and apples in the cafeteria, managed to turn off the alarm, and found mats in the gym for everyone to sleep on.  Ultimately, Jay brought 24 stranded people into the school, including two dogs!

On Christmas morning, Jay and the others were able to use snow blowers from the janitor’s closet to free their cars from the mounds of snow. Before he left, he left the note apologizing for the break-in.

Although the alarm sounded at the Cheektowaga Police station when Jay first broke the window, police could not get there until the day after Christmas, by which time everyone had left.  But the group did such a great job of taking very little food and cleaning up after themselves that police initially thought the broken window had been caused by the high winds in the area … until they found Jay’s note.  According to a Facebook post by the Cheektowaga Police …

“When they were finally able to leave safely, you never would have known anyone was there. This group of amazing people cleaned up all the tables… and the building they found shelter in.”

Through sharing the school’s surveillance video on local media, police were ultimately able to identify Jay as Jay Withey and he is now being hailed as a hero.  Watch …

This, my friends, is what a real-life hero is.  I’d like to shake his hand, wouldn’t you?

New Year Wishes from Wales

I didn’t reblog this when I first read it this morning, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought it deserves to be seen by as many people as possible, for David’s might just be the single best New Year’s message I’ve seen yet! Thank you, David … Cwtch

The BUTHIDARS

blwyddyn Newydd Dda to all my readers or to those who get here by accident. We have all undergone difficulties over the last few years of one form or another, so I hope this year starts with you in a mood of renewed hope and happiness. Do your best too make the World a better place, not just for yourself but for everyone no matter where they live. Maybe this is the year we can start to solve some of the problems of those less fortunate than us. Not just the droughts in Africa and the problems of babies born with cleft palates or degenerative eye disease that can be easily cured. But, maybe the bright sparks among you can find a way of ending the current wars of attrition still taking place around the globe. If we put our minds to it I'm sure solutions can be found. If…

View original post 106 more words

♫ Happy New Year ♫ 😞

A promise is a promise, and when I make a promise, I keep it.  And thus I am playing today the single most depressing holiday song never heard before!  Back in August, our dear friend Clive asked me to play this one by Swedish group ABBA on January 1st.  I didn’t listen to the song then, just thought the title was appropriate for January 1st, so I promised that I would play it.  And now, it is January 1st … and I am playing it.  Next year, Clive, I’m returning to Auld Lang Syne or something else!

The song’s working title back in 1980 was “Daddy Don’t Get Drunk on Christmas Day,” if that gives you any idea.

According to SongFacts, the song was written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus of ABBA during a working holiday in Barbados. The song actually started life as an idea for a musical. The plot was to be centered around a New Year’s Eve, a thought that got into Björn and Benny’s heads on a plane over to the island. They ran into the comedian John Cleese at the holiday resort and asked him if he would be interested in writing a manuscript. When Cleese turned them down, the idea was abandoned.

It originally had a very limited release as a single in December of 1980, but the Spanish version, Felicidad, did somewhat better in the Spanish-speaking countries that year, hitting the #5 spot in Argentina.  In 1999, the English version of the song was re-released for the new millennium, and charted at #27 in Sweden, #15 in the Netherlands and #75 in Germany.  As far as I can tell, it has never charted in Canada, the UK, or the U.S.  Gee, I wonder why?  The one positive thing I can say is that the voices are nice. Anyway … this one’s for you, Clive!  Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year

ABBA

No more champagne
And the fireworks are through
Here we are, me and you
Feeling lost and feeling blue
It’s the end of the party
And the morning seems so grey
So unlike yesterday
Now’s the time for us to say

Happy New Year
Happy New Year
May we all have a vision now and then
Of a world where every neighbor is a friend
Happy New Year
Happy New Year
May we all have our hopes, our will to try
If we don’t we might as well lay down and die
You and I

Sometimes I see
How the brave new world arrives
And I see how it thrives
In the ashes of our lives
Oh yes, man is a fool
And he thinks he’ll be okay
Dragging on, feet of clay
Never knowing he’s astray
Keeps on going anyway

Happy New Year
Happy New Year
May we all have a vision now and then
Of a world where every neighbor is a friend
Happy New Year
Happy New Year
May we all have our hopes, our will to try
If we don’t we might as well lay down and die
You and I

Seems to me now
That the dreams we had before
Are all dead, nothing more
Than confetti on the floor
It’s the end of a decade
In another ten years time
Who can say what we’ll find
What lies waiting down the line
In the end of eighty-nine

Happy New Year
Happy New Year
May we all have a vision now and then
Of a world where every neighbor is a friend
Happy New Year
Happy New Year
May we all have our hopes, our will to try
If we don’t we might as well lay down and die
You and I

Writer/s: Benny Andersson, Bjoern K Ulvaeus
Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Some New Year’s Toons

What better way to welcome in a new year than with some New Year’s ‘toons?  The poor li’l baby 2023 doesn’t know what he’s let himself in for!


And now, it’s time to take the tree down, vacuum up the pine needles, and curl up with a good book and tune out the world for a day!  Well, okay, maybe only for a couple of hours, during which time I’ll probably fall asleep!

National Bacon Day … Who Knew?

I first posted this one last year on this date, December 30th, and for much the same reason as I’m posting it this year … a lack of inspiration for my usual snarky posts!


I was working on a more serious post this evening, but by the end of ‘family time’, I was feeling tired and out of sorts, so I was fairly certain there would be no a.m. post today.  But then, my daily digest from the National Day Calendar people hit my inbox and when I saw that today is National Bacon Day and thinking about some of my readers — Larry, David, the other Larry, and Emily — who are serious bacon lovers, I decided to have a bit of fun with it!

According to the National Day Calendar website

On December 30th each year, bacon lovers celebrate one of nature’s favored gifts on Bacon Day! The day reminds us that bacon is not just for breakfast and encourages us to test out various ways to enjoy this culinary marvel. 

Everything is better with bacon, so someone said once. And our research shows very little to dispute this assertion.

The United States and Canada make bacon from the pork belly. Other countries around the world use the side and back cuts of pork. The meat is cured in either a salt brine or a salt pack. It is then either dried, boiled, or smoked.

Bacon is a very popular food in the USA. In 2020, over half of the U.S. population said they used a pound or more bacon that year. You can also find many items flavored or scented with bacon, including popcorn, soap, candles, air fresheners, and much more. While these uses fit right into the day, we suggest cooking with bacon.

It’s not just for breakfast anymore, either. Bacon improves everything from beverages to dessert. Some cocktails such as the Bloody Mary and Caesar add bacon to the olives, pickles, and other assorted ingredients. Bacon improves the flavor of many appetizers, sandwiches, and soups. Incorporate bacon into salads as a topping or mix it into the dressing. For dessert, bacon pairs well with maple frosting or maple ice cream. Thanks to bacon’s salty, smoky flavor, it compliments sweet quite well. The possibilities are endless. 

HOW TO OBSERVE #BaconDay

The founders of Bacon Day encourage us to eat a variety of bacon while watching Kevin Bacon movies or movies with bacon in the title. Other suggested traditions such as bacon toasts and kissing under pork fat mistletoe are mentioned as well. We make these recommendations for celebrating the day:

    • Try a new recipe.
    • Test the best way to cook bacon.
    • Top your salad, soup, or eggs with this delicious ingredient.
    • Give the gift of bacon.
    • Sample different varieties and determine your favorite.
    • Host of cookoff and post your favorite recipes.
    • Write a song about bacon.
    • Make a smiley face using bacon.
    • Visit your favorite butcher and give them a shout-out!

BACON DAY HISTORY

Danya “D” Goodman and Meff “Human Cannonball” Leonard founded Bacon Day in 1997 as the one great day to bond everyone together.   

Bacon FAQ

Q. Is bacon a dessert?
A. Bacon can be eaten at every meal of the day. For dessert, try Bacon Apple Pie or Bacon Maple Ice Cream.

Q. Can I cook bacon in the microwave?
A. Yes. Bacon can be cooked in the microwave, a conventional oven, on the stove or griddle, or in a convection oven.

Q. How many calories are in one slice of bacon?
A. One slice of bacon contains approximately 43 calories. It also has 9 mg of cholesterol and 1.1 gram of saturated fat (that’s the not-so-good fat). If you’re trying to watch what you eat, limit your portion size or substitute pork bacon for turkey or chicken bacon.

Now, as far as the best way to cook bacon, you place the slices in a single layer on a wire rack on a baking sheet with edges, sprinkle liberally with ground pepper, then bake at about 425° until it reaches the desired level of crispness.  Personally, I like mine ultra-crispy, nearly blackened!

Now go forth and try some new bacon recipes!  Be sure to let me know how they turn out.  Here’s one I use sometimes for Candied Bacon … it’s really simple, just three ingredients!  Happy Bacon Day!!!

Happy Boxing Day!!!

This Boxing Day post has become somewhat of an annual tradition here at Filosofa’s Word.  Occasionally I ponder doing a new one, but this one pretty much covers all the bases, so why re-invent the wheel?   So please join me in wishing all our friends in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the UK the very Happiest Boxing Day!!!


BoxingNo no no no no … not that kind of boxing!  Boxing Day is on December 26th, the day after Christmas, and it is a bank holiday in the UK and Canada.  A brief bit about the origins of Boxing Day …

There are a few competing stories for the origin of the name, and while none are definitive, the one that seems most commonly accepted is that the day after Christmas was when servants of the wealthy were given time off to visit their family, as they were needed to work on Christmas Day. Each servant would be given a box to take home with food, a bonus and gifts. In Britain, it was a custom for tradespeople to collect “Christmas boxes” of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year.

boxing-day

Now, that said, a couple of years ago our friend rawgod gave me his explanation of the Canadian celebration of Boxing Day, at least in his household as a child …

“Each year an xmas tree was brought to the house, often on xmas eve. All the decorations were brought out of storage, and hung to decorate the tree. In those days baubles were not made of plastic, but rather blown glass. They were very delicate, and much too easily broken, as my poor bum learned every year. Moving on, the tree was the centrepiece of our home xmas day, and the next day, we put all the unbroken decorations into their special boxes so they could survive to the next xmas. By suppertime everything was boxed, and stored–thus Boxing Day.”


And this is what my house looks like on this Boxing Day!boxing-day


So how do our friends up north and across the big pond celebrate Boxing Day?  I went ‘in search of …’ and came up with some fun things, though I strongly suspect that most people spend the day recuperating from Christmas.  Let’s look at a few …

There is an annual barrel rolling race in Grantchester, Cambridgeshire

Boxing-Day-1

Until 2004 when the UK imposed a ban on fox-hunting, it used to be a tradition on Boxing Day.  A couple of years ago, Colette commented that legal or not, fox-hunting …

“As for fox hunting (despite tradition, I hate it), it still occurs. Meets go out following scent trails by people sent up ahead. The hounds are supposed to follow that and eventually find the people. Horses follow. But the hounds very often find real foxes which they tear to shreds if found. I am opposed to this horrific practice. The whole industry (and it is a lucrative industry) is a travesty akin to Bear Baiting or Cock Fighting, both long outlawed in Britain.”

Boxing-Day-2.jpgI understand that sports are big on boxing day, with horse racing and football.  But remember that what they call ‘football’ is actually what we in the U.S. refer to as soccer.  I asked one of my friends across the pond once, when he mentioned ‘football’ if he was referring to the kind with an ovoid pigskin ball where large people try to kill one another, or the kind that is played with a geometric-patterned black & white ball.  I was informed in no uncertain terms that he was referring to ‘real’ football and that what we called football was but a cheap knock-off. I never made that mistake again!

soccerAnd then there is shopping.  One article I read compared Boxing Day shopping with Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, in the U.S.  Apparently all the stores have huge sales.  But my question here is … who has any money after Christmas?

shoppingAnd so, to our friends across the big pond, however you spend Boxing Day, I hope it is a fun and/or relaxing day for you!  Happy Boxing Day!!!

Boxing-Day-4

Jolly Post-Christmas Monday!

Jolly, Joyful and I were actually planning to take this morning off, apologize later for having no Jolly Monday, for we were tired … plumb tuckered out.  But then, Jolly popped over to Phil’s Phun to wish ol’ Phil a Happy Holiday, and he found so many funny Christmas puns, memes, and ‘toons that he came back with a Santa-sized bag of them, so what were we to do?  We couldn’t just leave them lying around for a whole week, by which time it would be a new year, and if we put them into storage ‘til next year, no doubt we would forget about them.  So, while the buffet today is slim, consisting mostly of a few treats Jolly picked up from the bakery on his way back from Phil’s, we do hope you enjoy the final Christmas fun post of this year!  And we promise, this will be the last mention of Christmas for a year!!!


These are memes, puns, and ‘toons, in no particular order …


Last, but never least, we found a cute critter video to finish off the post-Christmas post!  I can’t believe that cat is letting that woman wrap him up!  Even our most docile kittie would shred us if we even tried!


We hope you found something to bring you a smile on this cold day after Christmas, and that you’ll share those smiles this week with others who didn’t get to drop by for treats and humour!  Keep safe and warm, my friends … love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly and Joyful!

🎄 Feliz Navidad 🎅

I won’t be posting today, other than this one that is two-fold:  1) to wish you all a happy holiday, and 2) to fulfill a request from a friend, Gail, for a certain holiday song!  Gail, by the way, is rawgod’s partner and a patient, kind woman.  So first, the holiday wishes …

Whether you celebrate Christmas as a religious or secular holiday, my hope is that your day is filled with love and laughter, with family, hugs, and of course good food.  We will be happily sharing our Christmas dinner with Maha, Ali, their boys and their new baby girl, Naya, so you will have a brief respite from Filosofa’s snarky rants for a day!  Seriously, though, folks … try to put the gloomy stuff and the troubles aside for the day and just enjoy your friends & family as I plan to do.

And now, on to the music!

♫  Feliz Navidad ♫

This song is written and sung by Puerto Rican singer-songwriter José Feliciano, a favourite of mine.  Feliciano says he recorded the song while feeling homesick at Christmas, missing his family in New York City and his extended family further afield as he sat in a studio in Los Angeles. He remembered celebrating Christmas Eve with his brothers, eating traditional Puerto Rican foods, drinking rum, and going caroling.

“It was expressing the joy that I felt on Christmas and the fact that I felt very lonely. I missed my family, I missed Christmas carols with them. I missed the whole Christmas scene.”

The lyrics are in both Spanish and English, because as Feliciano said …

“If I had left in Spanish only, then I knew the English stations might not play it, so I decided to write an English lyric, ‘I want to wish you a merry Christmas.’ And then there was no way the stations could lock that song out of the programming.”

The song has been covered by a number of artists including Michael Bublé and Celine Dion, but I’ll stick with the original on this one.  It’s a fun holiday tune, a toe-tapper, that charted at #6 in the U.S., #25 in the UK, and played fairly well all ‘round the globe!

Feliz Navidad

José Feliciano

Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Próspero año y felicidad

Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Próspero año y felicidad

I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
From the bottom of my heart

I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
From the bottom of my heart

Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Próspero año y felicidad

Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Próspero año y felicidad

I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
From the bottom of my heart

I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
From the bottom of my heart

Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Próspero año y felicidad

Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Próspero año y felicidad

I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
From the bottom of my heart

I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
From the bottom of my heart

Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Próspero año y felicidad

Writer/s: Josè Feliciano
Publisher: BMG Rights Management, Songtrust Ave
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind