Hello everyone and happy Boxing Day! Probably many of you are wondering what I’m talking about. It has nothing to do with boxing, that is, not the “sport” where 2 people try to beat each others brains into senselessness. My apologies if you happen to enjoy boxing, just tossing in a little humor. Or something. Anyway, Boxing Day, which is December 26, is a holiday in the UK and other British Commonwealth countries, which includes Canada.
Where did the odd name come from?
This goes back to the old pioneer days. The day after Christmas was a big discount day at the local general store and everyone from the surrounding district would descend on this store to get in on all the amazing discounts. Sometimes as much as 5 cents off some items. However, demand would always exceed supply so fights would take place. Thus the day became known as Boxing Day. This fighting in the stores continues to this day. That’s my theory.
There are other theories…
Don’t like mine? Okay, let’s try this one. The term comes from England and was first used in actual print in the year 1833. Four years later Charles Dickens used the name in “The Pickwick Papers”. But why this name? Centuries ago, lords and other wealthy people would distribute “Christmas boxes” filled with gifts, money and food to their servants and employees, who were required to work on Christmas Day. This was in recognition of good service throughout the year, basically these were a holiday bonus. This tradition was started hundreds of years ago.
Another possibility is that the name came from alms boxes that churches had by their doors, sometimes inside, sometimes outside, that people would put money in leading up to Christmas. Then the day after Christmas the money was counted and given to the poor of their district.
So there we have it…
I like my theory, but I think the second one is the most likely. Even here, back in the 1800s and early 1900s, the practice of taking boxes of gifts and food to poor neighbors after Christmas was quite common.
So, Happy Boxing Day everyone, I hope you enjoy your day and God bless!
Steve and Muffin.
© 2019 Steve McLeod.