Boxing Day

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Big Blue Owl
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Boxing Day

Post by Big Blue Owl » Tue Dec 26, 2006 2:35 pm

Today is Boxing Day. To Yanks it may sound like a day to knock the hell outta someone, but it's far from that.

Origins

There are disparate theories as to the origins of the term. The more common stories include:

* It was the day when people would give a present or Christmas 'box' to those who have worked for them throughout the year. This is still done in Britain for postmen and paper-boys - though now the 'box' is usually given before Christmas, not after.
* In feudal times, Christmas was a reason for a gathering of extended families. All the serfs would gather their families in the manor of their lord, which made it easier for the lord of the estate to hand out annual stipends to the serfs. After all the Christmas parties on 26 December, the lord of the estate would give practical goods such as cloth, grains, and tools to the serfs who lived on his land. Each family would get a box full of such goods the day after Christmas. Under this explanation, there was nothing voluntary about this transaction; the lord of the manor was obliged to supply these goods. Because of the boxes being given out, the day was called Boxing Day.

* In England many years ago, it was common practice for the servants to carry boxes to their employers when they arrived for their day's work on the day after Christmas. Their employers would then put coins in the boxes as special end-of-year gifts. This can be compared with the modern day concept of Christmas bonuses. The servants carried boxes for the coins, hence the name Boxing Day.

* In churches, it was traditional to open the church's donation box on Christmas Day, and the money in the donation box was to be distributed to the poorer or lower class citizens on the next day. In this case, the "box" in "Boxing Day" comes from that lockbox in which the donations were left.

* Boxing Day was the day when the wren, the king of birds,[3] was captured and put in a box and introduced to each household in the village when he would be asked for a successful year and a good harvest. See Frazer's Golden Bough.
o Evidence can also be found in Wassail songs such as:

Where are you going ? said Milder to Malder,
Oh where are you going ? said Fessel to Foe,
I'm going to hunt the cutty wren said Milder to Malder,
I'm going to hunt the cutty wren said John the Rednose.
And what will you do wi' it ? said Milder to Malder,
And what will you do wi' it ? said Fessel to Foe,
I'll put it in a box said Milder to Malder,
I'll put it in a box said John the Rednose.
etc...

* Because the staff had to work on such an important day as Christmas Day by serving the master of the house and their family, they were given the following day off. Since being kept away from their own families to work on a traditional religious holiday and not being able to celebrate Christmas Dinner, the customary benefit was to "box" up the leftover food from Christmas Day and send it away with the servants and their families. Hence the "boxing" of food became "Boxing Day".

What if we here in the states adopted this tradition, but used it to box up some stuff for the poorer among us through the Salvation Army or other helpful organizations?
I think that'd be pretty cool and I'm gonna make a box to take over when I get off of work.
(((((((((((((((all'a you)))))))))))))))

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Big Blue Owl
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Post by Big Blue Owl » Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:31 am

Heheh...ok, fair enough. No-one gives a shit about Boxing Day :-D
(((((((((((((((all'a you)))))))))))))))

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Mr. Potatoe Head
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Post by Mr. Potatoe Head » Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:18 am

Thanks for the info. BBO and I think that is a grand idea about boxing up for the poor....thus came America's boxing day! :-D

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ElfDude
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Post by ElfDude » Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:58 am

Big Blue Owl wrote:Heheh...ok, fair enough. No-one gives a shit about Boxing Day :-D
Sorry, I just didn't spot the thread until now.

Um... well... now I'm supposed to make a comment... let's see...

I make charitable donations all through the year. Both monetary and boxing up stuff to take to the thrift store and that sort of thing (Look at me! See what a great person I am? Esteem me! Revere me! *toots his own horn relentlessly* Okay, not trying to brag or anything... just commenting. I know that guy who's screen name is "Me" goes out and volunteers his time and labor. That's much more valuable than the money I donate. Let's esteem and revere him!). The day after Christmas I'm more likely to be loafing about realxing after all that needed to be done building up to the event. :)

And since I don't have any servants, I can't give them the day off. :-D

But, speaking of nice things to do for those less fortunate than we are at Christmastime, has anyone here heard of the book entitled "Christmas Jars"?
Aren't you the guy who hit me in the eye?
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Me
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Post by Me » Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:21 pm

ElfDude wrote:
Big Blue Owl wrote:Heheh...ok, fair enough. No-one gives a shit about Boxing Day :-D
Sorry, I just didn't spot the thread until now.

Um... well... now I'm supposed to make a comment... let's see...

I make charitable donations all through the year. Both monetary and boxing up stuff to take to the thrift store and that sort of thing (Look at me! See what a great person I am? Esteem me! Revere me! *toots his own horn relentlessly* Okay, not trying to brag or anything... just commenting. I know that guy who's screen name is "Me" goes out and volunteers his time and labor. That's much more valuable than the money I donate. Let's esteem and revere him!). The day after Christmas I'm more likely to be loafing about realxing after all that needed to be done building up to the event. :)

And since I don't have any servants, I can't give them the day off. :-D

But, speaking of nice things to do for those less fortunate than we are at Christmastime, has anyone here heard of the book entitled "Christmas Jars"?
Please don't put me up on your pedestal! I am not nor have I ever been any better than anyone else. I can only be me just like you can only be yourself and that is where me comes in, you too...we are all just me not Me, but you... UGH!!! And it was never intended to mock either!
When evil is allowed to compete with good, evil has an emotional populist appeal that wins out unless good men & women stand as a vanguard against abuse.

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ElfDude
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Post by ElfDude » Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:34 pm

Me wrote: And it was never intended to mock either!
I know that, man. No worries. :)
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rushlight
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Post by rushlight » Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:39 pm

I'm dating a british man so I'm familiar with boxing day. D.A. went out to the pub for it and I sent gifts to him and his family. Gotta be there next december to experience boxing day myself.

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awip2062
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Post by awip2062 » Thu Dec 28, 2006 4:24 pm

Boxing Day is one that we started teaching the children about once we moved this close to Canada. Before that I don't think we taught about it, although both Dan and I knew of it from reading but not experience.

As for this question: "What if we here in the states adopted this tradition, but used it to box up some stuff for the poorer among us through the Salvation Army or other helpful organizations?"

Yes! Let's do this as a nation. And then, let's take it a step further and make it a regular part of our national indentity that we do this year-round. When we go shopping, buy a can or two for the food bank or diapers for the single mom who needs help. When we have usable things, let's give them away instead of throw them away or hoard them. Let's make time to visit the elderly, shut-ins, disabled that need visits. Let's always have some volunteer work that we do, even if it is just once a week or even month.
Onward and Upward!

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