Growing up, I always saw Boxing Day printed on the calendar on Dec. 26, but I had no idea what it was. (My knowledge of history is so weak I probably thought it had something to do with the Boxer Rebellion.) Since I have lived in a former British colony for many years now, I have come to understand that Boxing Day originated as a British holiday, a day when people gave boxes or gifts to one another.
In Nigeria, Boxing Day is a public holiday and has come to be known as one of the biggest visiting days of the year. Typically we don't exchange gifts on Boxing Day, but we do go out visiting one another.
My mom, being so logical, once asked me, "How do you know if you should go out to visit others or if you should stay at home and wait for visitors?" Hmmm. Good question.
After the Christmas Eve bombings in our city which claimed more than 30 lives, we stayed home all of Christmas Day. However, we did venture out to church today on Boxing Day. The day seemed almost normal except that traffic was a little less than usual, but church was full. So, on arriving home, I got out the frozen samosas and spring rolls to thaw. I figured I would just fry them up when visitors arrived. I planned this menu about three weeks ago because I knew we would definitely have visitors--and something must be served. Most people I know would serve rice, but I wanted to be a little different this year. Besides, many times when people have already visited other homes before coming, the last thing they want to see is another plate of rice!
Today was a quiet day at home, the day after Christmas. We read; we watched movies; we napped. But something wasn't right: no visitors arrived for Boxing Day.