Share your Boxing Day


In the final section of  ‘How To Do Everything and Be Happy’ I give an
example of what a typical Boxing Day, for me, might look like.

I thought it might be quite fun to open this up to the world – so using the comments section feel free to post about great Boxing Day successes you’ve enjoyed.

7 thoughts on “Share your Boxing Day

  1. here is a list of some of the things I’ve done on a Boxing Day in the last 6 months, these are all things that I’ve not thought about in advance, just woke up and thought ‘what shall I do today’ or ‘what do I feel like doing right now’

    Went to see Carlos Acosta (amazing ballet dancer, and possibly the most beautiful man in the world) at the Coliseum

    Went to see a street dance adaptation of One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest

    Went to see Educating Rita – felt like some company on this occasion so roped some friends into it

    Went to the movies, to see the next thing playing – (unfortunately, the movie was crap)

    Walked to Foyles, picked a book based just on the cover, bought it, took it home and read it cover to cover.

    Spent the day at Rays jazz café at Foyles, writing a long email to my mum, and doing some writing, and wandering around the bookshelves

    Went to the local pool and swam laps (first time I’ve swum for about a year)

    Got my hair done

    Got a pedicure

    Woke up one day really cold and decided to do a bikram yoga session (which as you know, became a habit)

    Went to an Elton John concert at the Royal Albert Hall (not sure if this counts – my friend had 2 tickets, someone bailed on her at the last minute, she rang me, I said, yep, I’ll be there in 30 minutes)

    Did an Egyptian dancing class at Pineapple Dance Studio

    Did a Bollywood dancing class at Pineapple Dance Studio

    Did a ballet class (god, I was awful, but it was a good work out and fun watching the amazing people)

    Walked to Borough market, wandered the stalls to find something delicious to eat, sat on the grass outside Southwark Cathedral and ate it and walked home again.

    Went to a Phillippino all you can eat buffet for lunch (this time, with company)

    Went to my favourite French café up the road for the best Eggs Benedict in the world

    Went to my other favourite cafe, a Vietnamese restaurant up the other end of the road, for a Vietnamese breakfast

    Walked to HMV at Picadillly circus, bought the Box Set of Mad Men then watched as many as I could back to back before Monday morning

    Watched 21 episodes of ’30 Rock’ in a row

    Watched Back to the Future

    Went for a run/jog/sometimes walk around London with my i-phone and took photos on the way, text a friend a ‘virtual tour’ as I was going along.

    Spent 1.5 days without leaving the house at all, got bored Sunday afternoon, rang a friend for an idea of something to do, walked with him to the Tate Modern for a walk around and then to the pub for a beer

    Cleaned out my wardrobe – took all the clothes I hadn’t worn for a year to charity, stored all the ‘wrong season’ clothes under the bed.

    Walked to the antique markets in Angel. Walked around, looked at stuff, had a really nice breakfast in a café and bought a necklace for £2.

    Walked to Spitalfields market. Had eggs benedict in a delicious café.

    Rang a friend I hadn’t spoken to for about two years, talked for two hours.
    Went to the Canal museum in Islington and floated in a Canal/narrow boat through Little Venice.

    Bought the ingredients for, and cooked, an entire roast dinner, just for me – chicken, mushrooms, roast potato, greens, gravy, the whole she-bang.

    Particularly memorable Boxing Days

    I was in Paris recently and alone as my company left earlier than I expected to travel onwards – I walked to the top of Montmartre, then down again, then wandered the side streets until I found this cute as anything little wine bar, with no one in it. I just sat there by the window and drank one glass of ‘whatever you think I would like’ after the other, accompanied by little bowls of whatever the barman fancied bringing me, for about five hours, writing a letter to a friend (which I never posted, incidentally), and watching the world go buy.

    I went online and starting chatting to a guy – it was near dinner time, after a few hours of emails – he said, ‘where are you now, meet me for dinner’, so I did. 7 years later he’s still one of my best friends, and I went to his wedding (he married the girl he met on the internet after me).

    I once went with a work mate to this weird alternative therapy ‘open centre’ day and did a ‘silent movement’ class, or something like that. Basically the idea was that everyone in the room starts dancing, with no music, no person telling you what to do, you just float around, twirl, etc. It was one of the oddest experiences of my life but strangely free-ing.

    Oh, another time – when I had 0 money at all but really felt like seeing something – I rung a theatre and asked if they needed anyone to work giving out programs or whatever, and that I’d do it for free if I could see whatever was on that night. So I spent a couple of hours giving out programs then saw this really odd interpretive classical music show. That was interesting.


  2. So my first boxing day was not remotely successful. I think this is the curse of motherhood. I’d deliberately booked the day off work so that I could enjoy myself while the chimps were at school. So I stayed in bed while my husband did the school run because that’s what I wanted to do. But then I got a text to say that the boy had a violin concert in assembly. How could I not go? I know I’m supposed to do what I wanted and I really didn’t want to go, but would it have made it worse if I hadn’t gone? The boy knew I was at home, he knew I didn’t have to go work and that I was free to go. I went. And then spent the rest of the day really cross. And skint. All the things I wanted to do right then and there cost money.

    So what did I learn? Book it closer to payday silly!

    This time (yesterday) I booked it in the diary, negotiated it with the husband and the boys and made it quite clear that they had no call on my time. All the washing was cleared, the house already clean. Nothing to go wrong. Apart from not having any sleep the night before and having an achy neck.

    Sat in bed wondering what it was I wanted. Breakfast? Yup. Great big pile of scrambled egg on white buttery toast. And Louisiana hot sauce. Brill.

    Then a shower, bit of physio and I decided to go into town to see what it was I fancied. I bought a book and sat in a cafe with a hot chocolate and a treacle tart until a group of annoying loud tourists came in and spoiled it. So I walked out in a great big downpour and deliberately didn’t get my umbrella out. Lots of odd looks in a very busy city centre, but the rain felt gorgeous. Then I pottered around a department store, conned the make up lady in to a free makeover without buying anything and went and had a manicure. I called my Mum and took her out for a swish lunch – we never get the chance to talk properly when I have the kids so it was really good to actually catch up. She was having a trauma with the opticians, so I went with her and got her a 25% discount. That seems odd to some, that I was doing something for someone other than myself, but I LOVE a good argument and the feeling of oneupmanship on big companies, so it was what I wanted to do right then.

    After having a cuppa with Dad on the way home, I decided we’d all have a curry, had a bottle of wine and watched Dr Who. Then something I’d Sky+ and went to bed with the Comedy Prom.

    That’s better! What do I take from this more successful boxing day? I don’t necessarily have to be on my own to enjoy my time on my terms. And have the car for the day – otherwise just going in to town is going to get boring.

    Next installment – September 27th.



    1. Thanks for sharing that Elizabeth. Really ought to put something in the book about timing your Boxing Day (pay day etc), and the fact that you don’t have to spend it alone – that’s another mistake people make


  3. Having purchased your book for myself twice (once on iBooks, once on Kobo), I purchased the ebook version again on Kobo to send as a gift to my better half, who has now started reading it and is already 40% through the book!

    I had planned to have my first ‘Boxing Day’ next Sunday (4th December) but now that I’ve got my partner reading the book we have decided:-

    – to rename Boxing Day as ‘Opportunity Day’ – as it will be our opportunity to do what we WANT to do!

    – to move Opportunity day to Saturday the 3rd December – as we will have things (that get in the way) planned in for the Sunday in preparation for the following working week.

    Looking forward to our first Opportunity Day!


  4. Having had a disastrous first boxing day back in September I am somewhat of a Boxing Day cynic but as a New Year’s resolution I decided to give this Boxing Day thing another try but with one slight amendment.

    On my last BD I felt I did very little, the problem was I didn’t really feel inspired to do anything. My solution was to have a think in advance, not planning as such (not wanting to break that cardinal rule), but having a sort of rough idea of the options meant that I had a back-up plan if I was stuck and it was turning into just another day off. It also meant I actually got excited about BD in advance.

    On my list of ideas were:
    Get the tattoo I’ve been wanting for a while
    Visit the zoo/cinema/theatre
    Get a massage/manicure
    Go shopping at Manchester/Newcastle or anywhere within a 3 hour radius
    Go walking/gym/swimming
    Bake something
    Horse riding

    In the end this is how I spent my Boxing Day:
    – had a lie in
    – finally sat in my study after months and did some writing
    – read up on the history of Amsterdam (which is what I actually fancied doing)
    – decided I needed more Amsterdam books and wanted to go to the library
    – did not go to my local library, went to the one an hour away
    – did some shopping while there and met up with a friend
    – came home and replied to a few messages
    – listened to music
    – continued writing a blog on writers’ groups

    Although I don’t feel I’ve done much I do feel I’ve had a good relaxing day that I have enjoyed. But a word of warning- be careful if you decide to see a friend or relative on your Boxing Day. I did end up spending most of the time comforting my friend about problems they were having, not that I minded but it isn’t really what I wanted to be doing on my Boxing Day.

    In all I would call it a success and I’m looking forward to my next.


  5. Boxing Day Account (Sunday 7th April ) by Julia Pattison

    I’m recuperating from a recent foot operation at the moment, so mobility is strictly limited. However, inspired by Peter’s recent tweets I decided to treat myself to a Boxing Day yesterday.

    My husband Roger made up our coal fire, and stocked up on logs and coal. He then moved an armchair to face our TV, making sure that it was within easy reach of the fire tongs and fuel. I was then set up with a table so that I had easy access for such essentials as the TV remote, water, medication, etc. My crutches were nearby for emergency mobility ( such as trips to the loo- I know – too much information! ).

    Thus prepared, and fire lit, I was able to sit comfortably as possible, with my foot elevated, ready to commence my Boxing Day.

    Roger went off to work( he’s a photographer for our local newspaper the Pocklington Post ), knowing that far from being bored with my situation I intended to make the most of it .

    I worked on some children’s stories I’d written years ago, and in the process became inspired to write some notes on an idea for a new story about a crutch.

    Lunch was brought for me ( I could get used to this! ), then I settled down for a film fest.

    I love mythology and legends, and stories and films where good wins over evil, so I was in my element watching A Knight’s Tale, swiftly followed by A Scorpion King. Usually on Sundays, as a teacher, a good part of my day is spent in planning and marking, so I really relished the opportunity to indulge in guilt-free viewing!

    To top off my wonderfully relaxing day I sat down to a home-cooked Sunday Roast, cooked by Roger, who basked in my praise of his Yorkshire puddings ( I’m not daft, I’m hoping he might take over some cooking duties more often when I’m mobile! ).

    Later on we settled down together on the sofa to enjoy the last excellent episode of Foyle’s War.

    The laboured ascent up the stairs to bed( a snail would beat me in a race at the moment )left me physically drained, but as I fell thankfully into bed I felt mentally refreshed after my brilliant Boxing Day. Thanks for the idea Peter – I’m going to spread the word!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s