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Boxing Day

Dec 26, 2013

With some stores open every day of the year, some of us know what it's like to work on Christmas day, and this "holiday" actually dates all the way back to the Middle Ages, if you can believe it! The day after Christmas faithful servants or employees would get a Christmas Box from the lords and ladies that they served, but the difference between working now and back in Medieval times is pretty significant.

Boxing Day History

Way back in the day servants had to wait hand and foot on Lords and Ladies - some of them were not so nice, I might add. While the family feasted on large meals and joyfully opened up presents, the paid staff worked their butts off - doesn't sound fair, right? This doesn't mean servants had to go without Christmas and presents though, the day after Christmas the servants were presented with Christmas Boxes so that they knew their hard work was appreciated.

A shopping mall on Boxing DayA shopping mall on Boxing Day
 

The first Boxing Day is believed to have started in the Middle Ages. This is just a guess cause the exact date isn't known. How Boxing Day started is a question as well. Some say it started with the giving of Christmas Boxes, like the story above. Others think it was named for the tradition of opening charity boxes placed in churches during the Christmas season. The contents were given out to the poor.

On Boxing Day all those unsold Christmas goods go on saleOn Boxing Day all those unsold Christmas goods go on saleCourtesy of Vogue
 

Modern Boxing Day

Only in the last century has Boxing Day become a holiday. By having Christmas Day and Boxing Day as holidays people could take trips or get together with family members for Christmas. Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated in Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. If December 26 falls on Saturday or Sunday the public dedicates the following Monday to Boxing Day.

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