Boxing Day

Sometimes it’s just not enough to get together on Christmas Day, you have to spend Boxing Day together too.  Christmas is the ultimate celebration but with a large family it can be hectic and stressful and busy and challenging.  No one in my family would swap this for any different experience but despite this, there’s always some relief about Boxing Day.

The Boxing Day Venue

The Boxing Day Venue

I love the idea behind Boxing Day and how it started with the wealthy boxing up all their excess and leftovers from Christmas Day and distributing them to the poor and less fortunate the next day.  With that in mind, our family met on Boxing Day at a clubhouse on a beach and shared what we had leftover from Christmas.  (Okay, so not everything was leftover, there were some things freshly prepared like the Onion Marmalade I made to go with my mother’s glazed ham and my cousin’s sweet things that she baked that morning).

Oh dear - there I am with a mouthful!

Oh dear – there I am with a mouthful!

This was a far more relaxing and casual day than Christmas with kids running around on the beach and the kitchen serving lunch on paper plates and paper napkins and a help-yourself bar.  There were no presents and no seating arrangements and no dress codes so this was a very relaxed event which is exactly what Boxing Day should be.

Baked Glazed Ham

Baked Glazed Ham

The weather could have been better.  It was cool with grey skies but this did keep the crowds away and while Boxing Day is one of the most crowded days on any Australian beach, this year the weather kept the masses away.  The upside to this was that we had no trouble parking and could drive right up to the venue (some of us were thinking the closest we would be able to park would be around 15 minutes away) and we had the beach to ourselves.

You can never have too many condiments

You can never have too many condiments

Everyone brought something already plated and here’s a glimpse of what we shared…

Snags.  I bought these in a rush on Christmas Eve.  There weren't the best I've ever had but they were okay.  Three different flavours.

Snags. I bought these in a rush on Christmas Eve. They weren’t the best I’ve ever had but they were okay. Three different flavours.

My cousin's salad of pear, blue cheese and caramelised walnuts

My cousin’s salad of pear, blue cheese and caramelised walnuts

Christmas Day leftovers - Rocket and pumpkin salad

Christmas Day leftovers – Rocket and pumpkin salad

Christmas Day leftovers for Boxing Day - Spinach and Rocket Salad with Pomegranates

Christmas Day leftovers – Spinach and Rocket Salad with Pomegranates

Austrian Christmas Biscuits made by my cousin and served on the lid of the tin!

Austrian Christmas Biscuits made by my cousin and served on the lid of the tin!

My cousin's vanilla cupcakes with holly decoration

My cousin’s vanilla cupcakes with holly decoration

My cousin's Rocky Road.  Annabelle Langbein recipe.

My cousin’s Rocky Road. Annabel Langbein recipe.

I really must get the recipe for the Rocky Road.  It was so full of not only marshmallows and nuts but lots of glace fruits as well.

And that’s how we spent Boxing Day.  It was such a relaxed and enjoyable affair.  Everyone left out voicing we should do it all again next year.  I hope your Boxing Day was similar.

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  1. I never knew the reason behind Boxing Day. That makes perfect sense. Looks like you found the perfect way to spend the day!

  2. Sounds like a lovely Boxing Day – great looking food! I had no idea of the original of Boxing Day – what a great tradition!

  3. You may know that Boxing Day is not a tradition in the U.S., but ….. ah ha … but it seems it can be used as another day to eat well. 😉

  4. I actually didnt know that was the meaning of Boxing Day lol – but any excuse to keep eating all those Christmas goodies sounds mighty fine to me xx

  5. I love boxing day too 🙂 LOL I think it’s because I’m such a child and I love being able to open my presents yay!!! I love the idea of everyone bringing a dish because it helps take the stress off the host who has to do all the dishes by themselves ~ Really hope you do get the recipe for the rocky rocky road! PLEASE!

    Happy New Years eve too!!! xox

  6. What a delightful way to spend Boxing Day. That glazed ham sure looked yummy. Love the 3 salads combination.

  7. The food looks delicious. Might you pass along the pear and blue cheese salad recipe? We have fabulous blue cheese made right here in Faribault, Minnesota, aged in caves, and I’d love to have this recipe.

  8. That looks wonderful. Looks like there are plenty of good cooks in your family. The rocky road looks especially fun and interesting. Happy New Year!

  9. Looks like a lot of fun! In the US we really don’t do Boxing Day (most people don’t even know what it is). Such a nice tradition – it’s one we should adopt. I always enjoy looking at pictures of food, and people enjoying it! Thanks for making all of us part of your Boxing Day festivities. Happy New Year!

  10. While I heard of this day, I didn’t know the meaning of Boxing Day! I really like this idea and would love to share all my leftovers!! Your weather looks beautiful to me as I’m freezing over here!! Happy New Year!

  11. That’s quite a lot of fine leftovers there. I didn’t know the origin of boxing day…somehow I thought it had something to do with the sport! Of course this makes much more sense and now I may have to celebrate Boxing Day from here on out. Thanks for clueing me in! Happy New Year!

  12. Another great family get together with delicious food. Looks like there are a lot of great cooks in your family.

  13. It sounds perfect, and what a treat to have the beach to yourselves.

  14. What a feast to have had on Boxing Day. That sure looked like my Christmas feast! Have a happy new year, Charlie and looking forward to seeing what 2013 brings. xoxo

  15. Judging by the goodies kindly brought along by that cousin I’d say better invite her again next year!

  16. It looks like a lovely spread of food Charlie and it reminds me so much of our family get togethers with a bit of everything as everyone brings a plate. And somehow it all works out well! 😀 Happy New Year’s Eve to you!! xxx

  17. You always teach us something new (or at least make us laugh). I never knew what Boxing Day was for. The pumpkin and rocket salad looked healthy and delicious. I think this is a great tradition and a way to make leftover new again!

  18. Really trying to ignore your comment about the weather on Boxing Day. Nope, can’t do it.

    Pooooooooor you. Pooooor poooooor you. 😛

    I miss my family!

  19. Another incredible family celebration! Ours starts the 23rd with our extended family – all dinner at my house – no great grandchildren yet – so only 12 of us. Then the Christmas eve seafood dinner for just my family and parents… and sister. 10 of us. Then Christmas morning brunch – still all at our house – and the turkey later in the day. Boxing Day is for passing out, at our house, but I love the idea of renting a hall for the family to truck over their left overs and share with everyone. I wish we had such a large family!

  20. What an excellent idea to spent boxing day like this!
    My friend Charlie, I wish you a very happy new year, may all your wishes come true!
    Hugs and Kisses!

  21. So that’s what Boxing day means!

  22. I so love seeing what others enjoy over the holidays. We don’t have the tradition of Boxing Day, but I used to share it with British friends in what seems like another life. A lovely idea. I so agree about never having too many condiments and I can just taste that onion marmelade with that gorgeous ham and the sausages. Great-looking salads as wel. What a lovely way to wind down. Wishing you and your family the best of 2013, Charlie. Oh, and Eha Carr wrote on my blog where you might find plantains in case for some reason it didn’t go to you!

    • Sugar, Vicki, I am blushing!! Actually many who don’t know what these very masculine looking, heavy and green looking bananas are, call the ‘cooking bananas’! Happy New Year!!

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Thanks so much, Victoria and Eha for letting me know. I will try to source some in Sydney.

  23. The vanilla cupcakes look fantastic!

  24. Oh, how wonderful! I didn’t know how people celebrate Boxing Day any more; we never have celebrated it in the U.S.
    A friend in India calls every Dec.26th.The first time, he wished me a “Happy Boxing Day” and was disappointed that we did not celebrate it…I wish we did; I had leftovers up the wazoo.I froze some, passed some on and we are still dealing wit the rest!

  25. It looked like a such a relaxed event – so easy. That rocky road used to be my favourite before I went sugar-free so that was rather tormenting. But I have the memories, as will you of this get-together. Great view to the sea!

  26. Sounds and looks like a fine Boxing Day celebration. Happy 2013, HS, hope it’s a kind year for you. xxx

  27. What a fabulous Boxing Day family celebration Charlie. Here’s to 2013 being an incredible, happy and love filled year.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  28. That is a lot of celebrating Charlie! But then, it is the season for it – and it sounds like Boxing Day was just as festive as Christmas 🙂

  29. That sounds like fun Charlie, it’s so nice to have something right after Christmas otherwise it’s a bit anti-climactic. I love that pear salad, how thinly the pears are shaved. I must try that.
    Boxing day in these parts tend to be a shopping frenzy where all the stores open at 7am and people line up. Not me. We went on a little holiday down to wine country. And we even got a lovely dumping of snow. Happy New Year to you and yours!

  30. Now this sounds like the right way to celebrate Boxing Day — or any holiday for that matter. After all, it’s the time spent with loved ones that matters. Your Mother’s glazed ham looks perfect and those salads so fresh!
    Here the day after Christmas is a shopping frenzy of a day and I’ll have none of it. Just because a store opens its doors doesn’t mean I have to walk through them.
    Wishing all of you, Charlie, a wonderful 2013!

  31. Ripped Off says:

    What about the Other Sister who was meant to bring the smoked salmon but left it in the fridge at home…

  32. It looks like such a great get together indeed! I so agree that boxing day is a day to relax and chillout, Christmas can be full of such stress and concern that you need some recovery time to have fun 🙂
    I bet the day would have been just perfect if someone bought smoked salmon, what a pity… 🙂

  33. Dear Charlie,

    Even though it’s a boxing day feast, it still looks pretty spectacular and those snags look quite delicious to me. The beach looks awfully like Balmoral with that rocky peninsular in the middle and if so, it’s my favourite for its scenic beauty and less of a touristy beach.

  34. What alovely foods that you all enjoyed! It all looks wonderful, Charlie! 🙂 Kisses & much love from Belgium!


  1. […] as the main ‘non-greasy’ course.  A bit of chocolate was always welcome and on Boxing Day my cousin, Pippa made this amazing Rocky Road that was gobbled up with not a crumb to spare.  I […]

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