Story last updated at 6:36 p.m. Thursday, December 26, 2002

All you Anglophiles out there know that today is Boxing Day, wherein Her Majesty's subjects celebrate the day after Christmas by getting rid of all the empty boxes cluttering up the house. Er, no, that's not it. Right, it's the day where homeless people trade in their old humble street palaces for new ones by raiding the trash piles of the more fortunate. No? What the heck is Boxing Day? The Betster's informed expert, Earl Google, says it has something to do with the day the well-off give gifts to those of the lower classes.

Huh. And here the Betster thought that was April 15.

We Americans might think of today as the lull between holidays, when we move from the sacred to the secular and get ready to bid a fond adieu to the second year of this millennium. You won't be able to chow down on edible art this year (alas, Bunnell Street Gallery has cancelled this ever-popular New Year's Eve event), but that just means that for New Year's Eve, you'll have to get down and dance, or try out some of these other Best Bets.

BEST WHO WAS THAT MASKED MAN? BET: There's something about a masked ball to add a little zest to a party. In a small town, going masked might be the only way to hide out, come to think of it. Land's End Resort holds a Masquerade New Year's Eve party starting at Tuesday, with Too Fat To Fly performing. Tickets are $16.50.

BEST PUT ON THOSE DANCIN' SHOES BET: Is a masquerade too foo-foo for you? The downtown bars have a good lineup of bands to help bring in the New Year. Over at Alice's, 23-Red, "an innovative Alaskan band," plays. At Duggan's Waterfront Pub, it's the ever-popular Kachemak Bay group, the English Bay Band, always a good time.

BEST FREE RIDE HOME BET: Suppose you celebrate a bit too much at the bars New Year's Eve. If you get behind the wheel and the troopers or the Homer cops nab you, you're looking at a big nasty fine, a suspended license, a little jail time and some really expensive auto insurance -- and that's if you're lucky and don't kill yourself or someone else. You can play it cool, though, and get a free ride home from any bar courtesy of KacheCab, Kostas Taxi and Alaska Cab.

BEST START OUT ON THE RIGHT FOOT BET: Then the left foot, then the right foot The Homer Unofficial Running Team, a loose-knit group that puts on fun runs, holds a 5-kilometer and 10-kilometer Fun Run/Walk starting at 11 a.m. New Year's Day at the base of the Homer Spit. Get that blood flowing and work off a bit of holiday excess.

BEST LET THE BIG BOYS WIN BET: The Lady Mariners beat the alumnae ladies last week in the Alice Witte Challenge game. This week the Mariner alumni have a chance to redeem the honor of more seasoned athletes when they take on the Mariner boys basketball team at 7 p.m. Friday at the Homer High gym for the Ron Gribble Memorial game.