Time to relax after all the madness…
Well, that’s the rush over for another year and wasn’t it a rush?
I remember as a kid thinking that Boxing Day was thus called, because we had all the boxes and wrapping paper to throw out and then with the TV programmes showing boxing matches thought maybe that was the reason too.
It’s only as you get a little older that you come to realise the true significance of the day and that with all the above you were not a million miles away from the truth.
The 26th of December is also known as Saint Stephen's Day and is a public holiday that forms part of the Christmas festivities, at least as far as most of the countries that were once a part of the British Empire are concerned. Originally it was celebrated on the first working day after Christmas Day, but nowadays it is always celebrated on December 26th, regardless of which day of the week it falls.
The name for the day comes from the old tradition of using Christmas boxes, which were originally earthenware boxes. In mediaeval England, before the advent of the banking system we have today, these boxes were used by the poor such as servants, apprentices etc. to save money throughout the year. Maybe it might be frugal to go back to this kind of system after the recent disgraces of the worlds banking systems and their greed.
It was at Christmastime, that these earthenware boxes were broken open and the savings shared out to fund all the Christmas festivities and this tradition dates back to at least the early 17th century.
Another tradition, which is almost as old as the one above and which is the one that has stayed with us until the present day, and where the name actually does stem from, had the Christmas boxes as gifts, usually money, which were then given to trades people or others who had rendered some service throughout the year but who did not usually receive payment directly by the donor - for example, office cleaners, milkmen etc.
My earlier conjectures, as a young child, may not have been too far from the truth either, however, as a great many sporting fixtures, which included boxing matches have taken place over the holiday season for centuries.
I managed to find this little ditty on the Internet when referencing Boxing Day, which holds the view that Boxing Day was indeed a day for pugilism and is found in The Sporting Magazine -Volume 25 – 1805 where it states that:
“On boxing-day, Dec. 26, a numerous assemblage of the holiday folk were amused by a hard fought battle, in St. Pancras-fields. This fight was one that afforded plenty of diversion to several pugilists and admirers of the art present!”
Although this little piece on boxing is appropriate, it is in actual fact purely coincidental.
For me Boxing Day, has always been a day to recover from the trials and tribulations of the mad rush on the weeks up to the final day, ensuring everything is in order, more so as an adult than a child, when the day was often an anticlimax of a sort, having opened your presents and wondered what the heck had just happened with the whirlwind approach to the previous day’s events.
It is, nowadays, usually a day to visit folks, or have them visit you for a few party games, or a song, or ten on the Karaoke – no that is not a typo, I mean at least ten.
Today is just one of those types of days and will see us partying with a few close family and friends…time for the charades, Wii, and the Karaoke to step foot once more into the limelight.
Whatever you guys are doing today and this evening, I hope it is a safe and most enjoyable one for you.
Until next time have fun!
December 26th 2009
Leo Baxendale 1930 - 2017
2 days ago