Boxing Day

Christmas Day came and went in a flurry of excitement, many gifts, much good food and wine, and family get together Friends of various family members called in, sometimes individually, sometimes three or for at a time. So a busy, happy day for us all.

The rain managed to hold off until about 10.30 pm, and this meant most of the day was spent outside.

“Do not be angry with the rain
. It simply does not know how to fall upwards.”
Vladimir Nabokov.  
Russian-American novelist and poet, 1899 – 1977

And here I must make mention of Chris who is now bundled up in winter woollies. And because of our friend/enemy Covid, she will be having a solitary Christmas Day. I wish you were here Chris.

.and now it is Boxing Day.

Here in New Zealand, we have Boxing Day as a Statutory Holiday.  Boxing Day is the day following Christmas Day when traditionally, servants and tradesmen would receive gifts from their employers.  This was known as a “Christmas box”.

Wikipedia tells us   “The Oxford English Dictionary gives the earliest attestations from Britain in the 1830s, defining it as “the first week-day after Christmas-day, observed as a holiday on which post-men, errand-boys, and servants of various kinds expect to receive a Christmas-box”.

Growing up in Britain in the 1940s and 50s I remember tradesmen such as the milkman, postman, and coalman knocking on the door to collect Christmas boxes, usually money, in the week before Christmas, or occasionally, the following week.  These were people we rarely saw but who obviously performed a service for us.

And again courtesy of Wikipedia we learn – “This is mentioned in Samuel Pepys’ diary entry for 19 December 1663. This custom is linked to an older British tradition: since they would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts, bonuses, and sometimes leftover food.”

When I first met my DYS (Dashing Young Scotsman) – oh he was very young and so dashing – he was used to celebrating only Hogmanay (New Yea’s Day) and only that day was a holiday. Everyone went back to work on January 2nd. Christmas Day did not become  a Public Holiday until 1958 in Scotland, and Boxing Day only in 1974

Because Christmas Day and Boxing Day fall during the weekend this year, the following two days are designated statutory holidays. And because New Year’s Day and the day after also fall on the weekend this year, there are two more statutory holidays.  Many people take the three days between the Christmas and New Year as part of their annual holiday entitlement; thereby getting 11 days break while using only three of their allowance.

So for us, the Christmas season continues for several more days. Children are on holiday from school and no doubt by now, are driving their parents to distraction.

“May your walls know joy, may every room hold laughter,
and every window open to great possibility.”
Mary Anne Radmacher, writer and artist.

Yet another post full of absolutely useless information.  Except, that is, if you happen to play Trivial Pursuit over the holiday period, you might just find a use for some of this.

JB – December 26, 2021

19 thoughts on “Boxing Day”

  1. Nice quiet Boxing day here in Switzerland, after a wonderful family gathering yesterday and far too much delicious food and wine – but no complaints, it’s all been perfect so far! I love your trivia, Judith – please keep it coming, we need to remember the origin of these traditions.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Oops! Sorry I missed your other comment. We each have our individual blog and we join together for A World Apart. Wee each post on alternate days on AWA and reblog each others post on our on bog. Any clearer?

        Liked by 2 people

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