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Merry Christmas! I am so looking forward to a more people-y holiday — though with some trepidation due to the looming Omicron variant and increasing COVID numbers statewide. We got our boosters, so we’re feeling pretty good about seeing family from far and wide — the U.K., Los Angeles, as well as Waldo County. From our home to yours, wishing you all peace and goodwill.

Town Office

Ooops — don’t forget your dog licenses! Town Office will be closed on Friday, Dec. 24, and on Saturday, Christmas Day. The Town Office will also be closed on Monday, Jan. 3, and Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2002. There is a new air purifier in our Town Office to help keep us safe. It even has an ultra-violet lamp to kill germs after it recycles the air through the filters.

Transfer Station

The Jackson Transfer Station will be open as per its usual winter hours, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., on Sunday, Dec. 26, — Boxing Day. Please break down your boxes, and flatten the wrapping paper, to go into the dumpsters! It will be tough to fit all the seasonal wrappings of joy into our three dumpsters. Better yet — take them to Unity Area Regional Recyling Center. (Note: UARRC will also be closed Dec. 24-25.)

Christmas history nugget

Dec. 26 is commonly known as Boxing Day in Britain and in her many previous colonies, aka The Commonwealth. It also falls on St. Stephen’s Day. The basic premise is that your servants would get the day after Christmas off as their holiday, and you would give them a box of leftovers, a Christmas bonus, or a gift. Frequently it includes a recognition of tradesmen’s services — for your regular plumbers, carpenters and electricians.

It’s possible the name refers to the distribution of the alms boxes from church vestibules, done the day after Christmas, sharing the donations put in at the Christmas services. These observances of Boxing Day have been recorded since the 1600s. Interestingly, our colonies here in the U.S. of A., for the most part, dumped that tradition. Perhaps the Puritans were a more egalitarian lot, or just looking to forge new paths beyond His Majesty’s empire.