December 26 is Boxing Day

boxing-day-george-cruikshankBoxing Day is a traditional holiday in a few countries around the world, but its main celebration and place of origin is The United Kingdom or England.

Boxing Day is a public Holiday in England and its history can be traced back as far as 800 years ago.  There are two parts of Boxing Day; the first was established by the Catholic Church.  December 26th is also known as the feast of St. Stephen, it is the day that song Good King Wenceslas takes place.  On this day the alms boxes at the back of the church were opened and the money distributed to the poor.

In England, however, the day took a different meaning.  On Boxing Day, servants and tradesman would go from house to house collecting gifts or tips for jobs well done during the year.  Servants in manor house and estates were traditionally given the material for a new a new work uniform to be made on Christmas day.  It was probably a great relief to get their Christmas Box the next day.

Americans do not celebrate Boxing Day, although the idea of getting Christmas day and the day after Christmas off as a holiday would appeal to many Americans.  In America the Christmas box has been replaced by a Christmas tip usually given before Christmas to such people as the mail man, the newspaper deliverer, or a gardener.  Basically anyone who offered you service on a regular basis during the year. 

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