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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

BOXING DAY - Sales or?







My 5 Secrets isn’t here today. I gave the authors the day off to enjoy Christmas. But they’ll be back next Thursday.

Christmas is now over and today is Boxing Day. Other than returning the unsuitable gifts do you know where Boxing Day originated?

I thought I knew about Boxing Day and the English tradition, but I checked Wikipedia to make sure my information was correct.

Boxing Day is traditionally the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen receive gifts from their bosses or employers, known as a "Christmas box". Today, Boxing Day is habitually known as the holiday that occurs on 26 December. It is observed in the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Malta and some other Commonwealth nations. In Australia, Boxing Day is a federal public holiday.

The European tradition, which has long included giving money and other gifts to those who were needy and in service positions, has been dated to the Middle Ages, but the exact origin, is unknown. In Britain, it was a custom for tradesmen to collect "Christmas boxes" of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year. This custom is linked to an older English tradition: since they would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts and bonuses, and sometimes leftover food.

In feudal times in the United Kingdom, the lord of the manor would 'pay' people who worked on his land in the past year with boxes practical goods, such as agricultural tools, food and cloth. These were often distributed on the day after Christmas Day.

Other stories relate to servants being allowed to take a portion of the food left over from the Christmas celebrations in a box to their families and the distribution of alms from the church collection boxes to poor parishioners.

In Canada, yes, remember I’m Canadian and it’s a holiday. It gives people he chance to hit the Boxing Day Sales (the opportunity to stand in line from very early hours of the morning to get a good deal) or it’s an opportunity to watch hockey games. In some provinces, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Labrador and Ontario are not open on Boxing Day, so the sales start on December 27th.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you a Happy Boxing Day.

Comments welcome and don’t forget to check back this Saturday. The Round Robin group will be posting about what we’ve learned from writing and what our goals are for 2014 ad further into the future.
 

8 comments:

  1. very interesting. funny how the meaning of some words change over time.

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    1. I agree. I had no idea what it might be. At one time I thought maybe they'd had a major boxing fight on that day. :)

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  2. Happy Boxing Day! I think I like how the wealthy gave gifts on this day. Do you think we can get all the rich people to give away to everyone else at this time of year??

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    1. Hmm, I'm not sure, but it's a wonderful idea.
      It's often the people who don't have a lot that are willing to share.

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  3. Happy Boxing Day, Beverly. Thanks for the information as to the origins of Boxing Day. We Americans don't know much about it except that if we had Boxing Day here, we'd all get the day after Christmas off work. I always wanted that when I worked. I like Melissa's idea.

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    1. Now not everybody in Canada gets the day off. It's a officially a government and bank holiday, although many places do close.
      My daughter also pointed out another difference. In the US on Boxing Day you can return and exchange presents. In Canada many stores post signs saying no exchanges on Boxing Day. I think they hope to spreadi t out so they're not inundated.

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  4. Great post. My husband's Canadian too, but he didn't know all of this history. Happy Boxing Day!

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    1. Thanks Andrea. It's fun to look up the history of some of our special days and the difference between countries.

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