An advertisement for a trip to Yellowstone National Park

In the United Kingdom and several other Commonwealth nations, the day after Christmas (or sometimes the first weekday after Christmas) is observed as “boxing day.” It has nothing to do with flyweights, welterweights, or heavyweights, but with boxes of Christmas gifts traditionally given by employers to their employees, or by supervisors to those who worked under them.

“Boxing day” for me has usually meant boxing up all the Christmas decorations and trying to remember where everything goes.

And, this is also a good time of the year for boxing up outgrown or rarely-worn clothes and taking a load to Goodwill or some other charity before year’s end.

Over the last couple of decades, though, some day between Christmas and New Year’s has become a needed “boxing day” to clean out our electronic mailboxes. That can become complicated when you have multiple email addresses. Many of us have one or more work accounts and even several personal accounts.

Some folks like to zap the entire past year, or put it in a separate file. Others go through every single email and decide what to keep and what to delete. My main concern this morning has been finding the “unsubscribe” link for the countless marketing emails that have been bombarding me since Thanksgiving. Order just a few things online, and if you’re not careful you’ll end up with a daily barrage of “specials” from every company you patronized, plus all of their partners. If that’s not bad enough, they want you to “review” the items you bought, even if they were intended for someone else …

It’s also a good time of year to address that self-directed mental spam that plagues us, too … negative or unhelpful scripts that we send ourselves that may keep us feeling boxed in. This is a good time of the year to clean house there and subscribe to more positive, hopeful thoughts and ambitions.

After all, that day-long metaphor that we call New Year’s is coming, and I don’t care if next year’s calendar does end with a “13” — it could be a very good year, couldn’t it?

We shall hope.

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