I can’t believe Christmas is over! It seems like it was just Thanksgiving. I’m still in the holiday mood and am not ready to put away my Christmas decorations or go back to work. Wait, what’s this? My calendar tells me it’s another holiday today. It’s Boxing Day!
I have no idea what Boxing day is. Does that mean I box up my Christmas décor and put it away for next year? Do I watch a boxing match? How do I celebrate this holiday? I really have no idea what to do on this holiday. This calls for some research!
Okay, here’s what I found:
- Boxing Day is a secular holiday celebrated in the UK, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. Maybe we can start something here in the U.S. as well?
- The origin of the holiday seems to differ but they all revolve around giving or helping the less affluent. 1) Boxing Day was a day off for servants when they received a “Christmas Box” or present from the master. The servants would also go home to give Christmas Boxes to their families. 2) A box to collect money for the poor was placed on Churches on Christmas day and then opened the next day. 3) Great sailing ships when setting sail would have a sealed box containing money on a board for good luck. If the voyage was successful, the box was given to a priest and opened at Christmas and given to the poor.
- Today, it’s celebrated as a holiday where people spend time visiting family friends, eating leftovers, enjoying outdoor activities, and shopping (think Black Friday). Yep, I can do all of these things!
- Some of the outdoor activities include football (soccer) matches, horse races, yacht races, and ice hockey to name a few. In days past, there was fox hunting involved. It looks like people still get dressed up and gather up the dogs and horses for a prance through town.
- And here’s one of the most entertaining parts of the holiday that I discovered! There are quite a few silly activities happening today including swimming races in icy waters most costume, rubber ducky races, and beagling – a mock fox hunt on foot.
And there you have it – in a nutshell, a day off of work where people get together and have fun. I could get used to that. I’d love to hear what our international friends who celebrate this holiday are doing today.
Happy Boxing Day!