Happy Boxing Day
Traditionally in England, the day after Christmas is Boxing Day. And, no, it doesn’t have anything to do with families fighting over returning their presents. In fact, there is nothing pugilistic about it at all.
Boxing Day has several different “stories”. According to several sources, the tradition started about 800 years ago and was the day on which churches opened the alms boxes (boxes for donations to the poor) and distributed the money. Alms boxes may have been brought to England by the Romans; although they used them to collect money for betting games.
It is also related to St. Stephens Day (Day of Goodwill) which is Dec. 26. When I was a child in England, I was told that Boxing Day was the day we threw away all our Christmas boxes.
In Holland, alms boxes were made of earthenware shaped like pigs which is where our piggy banks may have come from.
Boxing Day is a bank holiday (public holiday) in England. Before WWII, workers (delivery men) would travel around to their customers on the 26th and receive their tips. This is no longer a tradition; tips are given prior to Christmas Day.
BTW, did you know that you cannot “start” a tradition? It is an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action or behavior (according to Merriam-Webster). Think about Easter egg hunts.
Enjoy your Boxing Day.