Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Boxing Day by Shana Galen

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Hardly seems like it's almost 2013. But for many people in England, Australia, Canada and elsewhere, the celebration isn't over! Today is Boxing Day.

So what is Boxing Day? Historically, Boxing Day was the day when servants would receive a "Christmas box" from their employers. This tradition dates from the Middle Ages, and some scholars speculate it stems from the fact that servants would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day. Therefore, they were given December 26th as a holiday to spend with their families. The masters would send boxes home with the servants containing gifts and bonuses and leftover food. In the picture below, a group of orphans is receiving gifts in 1921.

Topical Press Agency/Getty

Another clue to the origin of Boxing Day comes from the carol "Good King Wenceslas." If you recall, the song goes, "Good King Wenceslas looked on on the feast of Stephen." December 26 is also known as St. Stephen's Day and celebrated as such in Ireland. Wenceslas was the Duke of Bohemia in the 10th century. He saw a poor man gathering wood in a snowstorm and brought him food and drink.

In present times, Boxing Day is a shopping holiday, much like Black Friday in the United States. Stores run sales and prices drop. Doorbuster deals and extended hours are common. Interestingly, Boxing Day is a popular day for fox hunting by mounted hunters. Hunting actual fox is illegal, but many hunters use scent drag trails instead.

So what are you doing this Boxing Day?




14 comments:

  1. Hope you have a wonderful day, Shana! My daughter and SIL are leaving for home, but we're eating at a Thai restaurant this afternoon, and they're getting me a cover for my new Nook. They gave me the Nook for Christmas and brought me into the new Millennium! I swore I was going to read only paperbacks forever more. :)

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  2. Lovely post, Shana. I don't think I knew exactly what Boxing Day was. So today I'm going to celebrate Boxing Day by going to Walmart and having lunch out with the Husband. Terry, welcome to the new era. I got a Kindle last Christmas but still haven't gotten "into it" with full force!

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  3. Thanks, Carolyn! I just bought my first Nook book. It's going to take some getting used to and it looks like I might be able to get Highspeed internet, so I'm looking into that!!! Yay!

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  4. I probably would've gone shopping, but there's at least a foot of snow impeding my progress! Interesting post!

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  5. I'm watching it snow, working on the WIP, and loving another day of unstructured time. No bigger gift could possibly come my way.

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  6. terry, I think you're going to love your Nook. I like reading real books, too, but I don't have the space. And it's so nice to just pull out my phone and have my book right there ready for me to read.

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  7. Carolyn, you're doing it right! Shopping at Walmart here later, too (only store in town).

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  8. Cheryl, it's in the 40s here, but no snow. Thank goodness!

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  9. Grace, I love unstructured writing days too. Have fun!

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  10. Interesting that it's a big shopping day in the US but most stores are closed on Boxing Day in the UK. We Americans do love our sales!

    Happy New Year, Shana!

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  11. Happy Boxing Day, Shana! So far today, I've written, revised, read, taken a bath (with book), and am about to curl up and take a nap with the cats. Tonight, SO and I plan to make pizza and watch Moneyball. YAY, vacation days!

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  12. Lark, did you do any shopping? The only place to shop here is Walmart. What's the point?

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  13. Tamara, that sounds like a fabulous day. How did you like Moneyball? I had to watch it with my husband, Ultimate Sportsfan.

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  14. Wonderful post, Shana! I love that you shared a bit of history, thanks so much!

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