As the name sounds to be quite peculiar Boxing Day is celebrated on next day of Christmas, that is on December 26. The word Boxing has nothing to do with it. Interestingly no fisticuffs, no trashing of empty boxes left over from Christmas or the return of the unwanted presents to the department stores. It’s day when the Santa Claus can catch his breath and is known as Boxing Day in United Kingdom and other British Commonwealth countries like Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
Boxing Day RedPayday
Boxing Day is having a British origin and the earliest print attribution dates to 1833 and it is exactly four years before Charles Dickens referred to it in ‘The Pickwick Papers’ although exact grounds of the festival are still obscured. The tales which point, are connected to charity, traditionally, distributed to the lower classes on the day after Christmas. On one side December 26 was the day when the big lords of the manors and aristocrats typically distributed Christmas boxes, which could be filled with small gifts or as money or from leftovers of the last night’s Christmas dinner, to the employees or the household servants who worked on the Christmas night .The underprivileged workers used to consider it as holiday bonus and it was definitely in recognition of their services to their lords all the year round.
LINKING WITH DONATIONS:
Another well-known theory is that Boxing Day rose from the alms boxes placed in churches during the advent season for the collection of monetary donations and further the Clergy distributed the content of the boxes to the poor on December 26, which coincides with the feast of St. Stefen, the first Christian martyr and a figure known for its charity. People utilize this holiday besides making charities or alms giving, in watching sports, shopping and visiting friends. As donations form a big part of this festival poor and needy run up to churches to receive alms boxes and desirables. This tradition of giving gifts for service extends beyond servants to tradesmen, such as milkmen, butchers etc. The day also corresponds with first working day after Christmas; typically, it can be moved and celebrated on the next working day if December 26th is Saturday or Sunday.
In England it has been a bank holiday since 1871, this beguiling tradition is also associated with fox hunting although it was put to an end in 2004. However certain modified forms of fox and hound hunting is still practiced. Various other events linked with it are fun activities like swimming, fun runs and charity events.
In non-commonwealth nations this day corresponds to St. Stephen’s day or Feast of Stephen; the patron saint of horses, so it has come to be day of sporting events, like rugby. As Sameul Pepys’ mentions in a diary entry the workers or tradesmen collected the so-called Christmas boxes and enjoyed the holiday and met their families after Christmas services to their lords or general public.
Concurrently it is related to Day of Goodwill. The history also entails that there were two St Stephens. The first St. Stephen was believed to be early follower of Jesus Christ and was stoned to death and became martyr. While second St. Stephen was a missionary in Sweden and loved animals particularly horses leading to tradition of horse-riding on Boxing Day. There are variations all over the nations celebrating this day .Few nations like Netherlands use earthen ware as boxes or vessels to collect the donations.
SHARING IS CARING:
Whatever is the way it corresponds to developing virtues among all the people, after festivals, to show generosity to all those who work for you, on the day of Christmas, without caring for their own families, which also look towards this day to get together and enjoy like their lords and other people. Further the trend of building big boxes or small outlets for the needy to grab some food or other items is commendable. People leave the unconsumed food items from the feast of day before, on Christmas, which are the delectable items for unfortunate workers who cannot afford the expensive food stuffs and hope for having them on Boxing Day but it is not only about saving and delivering left over feast.
People have all the liberty to share and lend the deserving people with items like clothes, some of them can also help them with money and then there are always articles at home, which are not used frequently so one can always be ready to donate those, rather than selling and show benevolence, so that those items now form more beautiful part of someone else’s home. Talking about donations most people in the world prefer to have monetary assistance depending upon their circumstances, so on December 26th people can also donate from the piggy banks in which they have been collecting all the funds all the year round for this very day.
Charity begins at home, besides being generous to the world the Lords and the employers must show kindness to the workers and their employees, who had been working hard all through the year, irrespective of their follies and mistakes, this way it not only creates an atmosphere of friendliness but an air of happiness moves around in the form of positive encouragement and motivation to work more in the upcoming year. Such kindness can be meted out in the form of financial help by providing the employees with bonuses. Not only employees the workers around or the tradesman who have been engaging in providing assistance and help in any form can also be discerned as people needing your support. Hence Boxing Day is not about boxing as a sport but it is about small boxes of love of and affection in the form of things and items to make people feel appreciated and important. One of the prime motivating factors to make anyone work with all his or her heart is appreciation.
Boxing Day marks a very important day internationally and the feeling of such charity must be induced in as many multitudes as possible. So, taking a good glance at the human inside you and after soul searching, one must always be ready to help another person, if God has made you or provided you with that ability.