Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy "Boxing" Day

I never knew what "Boxing" Day was. I had heard of it, but had no idea what it was honoring. I knew it was celebrated in England. I knew it was the day after Christmas. Other than that, I was only guessing. I thought it had something to do with the Boxer Rebellion. I decided to investigate after a discussion with Augusta Water Cooler.
Well it turns out that it has nothing to do with the Boxer Rebellion. It has nothing to do with boxing. It has to do with boxes. Yes, plain old boxes.
The origins seem to be variations on the idea of "Giving a BOX to the poor, or less fortunate.
Some versions of the origins say it was the custom of the giving a box of goods to your servant or worker the day  after Christmas.
Another is that on the day after Christmas, people went to see their more distant relatives, less important relatives and brought them presents in a box.
Another is that the church opened and distributed the contents of the Alms boxes, or the poor boxes, the day after Christmas.
Wikipedia says Boxing Day is a bank or public holiday that occurs on 26 December, or the first or second weekday after Christmas Day, depending on national laws. It is observed in Australia, Austria, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and in some Commonwealth nations that have a mainly Christian population. In South Africa, the public holiday 26 December is called Day of Goodwill, in Ireland St Stephen's Day or Lá an Dreoilín, and in continental European countries the "Second Christmas Day."

Looking Online for Boxing Day Images, it appears that Boxing Day has to do with sales in stores.