Twelve Days of Christmas Flash Mobs Outtake: It's Boxing Day
No, Mike Tyson, sorry. Celebrated in Britain and all her ex-colonies except for America, Boxing Day is the day to buy consumer electronics and all manner of other goods at a steep discount. It's the same idea as Black Friday only after Christmas.
A bit of backwards logic, it's true, but that doesn't seem to keep people from queuing up for the 5 a.m. opening of their favorite big box store.
So we are doing our own clearing out of extraneous merchandise with a candidate for our Twelve Days of Christmas Flash Mobs that got left on the cutting room floor.
It's a musical history lesson:
The precursor to holiday flash mobs were known as wassailers, as in "Here we come a-wassailing." In feudal England, peasants would go round and do a sort of Christmas trick-or-treating at the door of their landlord. The deal was, the landlord would give them food and a cup of wassail (booze) in exchange for the mob singing them good wishes.
There was a catch though. If the mob was not satisfied with the comestibles on offer, they would storm the house until they got what they wanted. Then, as now, leading with the Tootsie Roll was not a good plan.
The practice died out when Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas cheer from 1647 to 1660 but was revived more good-naturedly as caroling, by the Victorians in the 19th-century when they were inventing our modern Christmas traditions.
Here's a wassailing clip from the BBC's "A Child's Christmas In Wales."
And, rather more bizarrely, here's an advertisement for NBC affiliate 9News in Denver:
-- Marcia Adair