Whilst investigating Boxing Day, memories of Nan tipping window cleaners, posties, milk and paper deliverers, plus refuse collectors came to mind.
For many it’s typically a day of resting, digesting, walking, heading off to the races, footie, or Christmas sales. Boxing Day occurs on the 26th of December, became an official bank holiday in 1871, and has a history of 800 years.
I found no evidence of boxing, only giving. For example, in the 18th Century, the “alms” from the Christmas Day church collection might include gifts or money to distribute to the poor the following day.
It was also a day off for most servants waiting on Lords and Ladies of the Manor, who would donate a box for them to take home, which might include their Christmas Day leftovers. It seems, the idea of Christmas Hampers also stems from this gifting of boxes to employees. Samuel Pepy’s 1663 diary entry references gift box collections too.
St Stephen’s Day falls on the 26th, note the words of the hymn Good King Wenceslas, another nod to Boxing Day benevolence.
Hunting Wrens was once a popular sport on this day. I found a poem about this too.
This is what I’ve boxed up so far. Perhaps you have something to contribute about Boxing Day?
Who could you express thanks to today? You needn’t gift them something tangible, a simple phone call could do, even send a homemade e-card.
I made the images in this article on Canva, plus the Birthday card below, which I’ll send to Nan, as she’s 100 tomorrow. You might like to create something like this too. Join me at one of my workshops to learn how-to here.
It's good to have you here.