So today is Boxing Day, the day when families all over the Commonwealth test their strength, agility, endurance, and familial ties in ceremonial pugilistic displays of bare-knuckle boxing. I had occasion to observe such festivities first hand a few years ago in Canada, where the natives made great sport of punishing one another with fist, elbow, and knee. Though, as a foreigner, I was myself forbidden to participate in the actual act of fighting, I was allowed a rather intimate view of the proceedings. Everything from the breakfast of cold meats and shellfish left over from the Christmas feast of the night before, the rubdown and calisthenics and practice sparing that lasted much of the afternoon, to the brutal bouts themselves and the post fight ablutions and apologetic bandaging. I witnessed brother against brother, father against son, mother against daughter, and not a fair share of grandparents against other elders evaluated as their equals in size and strength. I’ll admit now to my jealousy of the fine display, for the enviable traditions of Boxing Day make for a vigorous, manly holiday; one affirming not only the essential bonds of family, but also the importance of deep tissue massage.