When we count the 12 days of Christmas, we may get a little lost when it comes to where they start and end. But three days that are sure to be included are Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, which is the name given to the day after Christmas.
No one is absolutely certain as to how Boxing Day got its name, but one thing is for sure…it has absolutely nothing to do with the sport of boxing, gloves, a rink or hurting another human being for that matter,. This article will review some theories regarding Boxing Day and come up with recommendations on how you can celebrate this unofficial holiday.
Boxing Day History
Boxing Day is British in origin. It first appeared in print in Dickens “The Pickwick Papers” in 1833.
Although we are unsure exactly how Boxing Day originated there are two popular theories. The first is that the day after Christmas was a day when rich masters would reward their servants for their loyal service throughout the year by giving the boxed goods left over from Christmas. These could include food items, leftover gifts, small goodies and more.
The second theory has to do with alms boxes that were placed in front of churches during Advent Season. These boxes were used to collect donations from parishioners which were distributed by clergy members to the poor on Dec. 26. This is also the day of the feast of St. Stephen the first Christian martyr who is known for acts of charity.
How to Celebrate Boxing Day
Although Boxing Day has since lost its association with charitable giving, there are many countries and cultures that keep the holiday alive. Here are a few Boxing Day Traditions.
Sports: In the U.K and Australia, Boxing Day is a popular day for sports. There are many horse racing and football matches that take place in the U.K on that day. In Australia, it is the day of the cricket Boxing Test Match where an Australian team takes on a team from another country.
Shopping: Once the holidays are over, stores need to get rid of excess stock. Boxing Day is the day to slice prices so everyone can enjoy the buyer’s remorse that comes with having overpaid for items during the holiday. In the U.K., the day after Boxing Day is similar to Black Friday in the United States.
Partying: In countries like Iceland, Boxing Day is the day for partying. After spending time on their best behavior with families and friends, the Icelandic people are ready to bust out drinking as much as they possibly can. Bars are typically open late to accommodate the festivities.
Seeing Friends and Relatives: With so many people off work and school, many see Boxing Day as a way to extend the festivities. They set the date aside to see all the people they missed on Christmas Day.
Charitable Giving: Even though Boxing Day is no longer associated with charitable giving, with the spirit of the holidays going strong, this is a great time to reach deep into those pockets.
We may not know the exact origins of Boxing Day, but we do know that it’s a great day for keeping the celebration going. What will you be doing to extend the fun?
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