The Origins of Boxing Day

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Growing up today was one of the days my extended family used to celebrate Christmas. However for many years I wondered at the strange name it had been given. I never saw people fighting and that was the only definition of ‘boxing’ that I knew. So if like me, you want to know the story behind Boxing Day, keep reading below and I’ll try and explain its origins.

Boxing Day is usually celebrated on the 26th of December (the day after Christmas Day) and there are several different suggestions (verified by history) as to how it got its name but they all have to do with gift giving. So here are two different theories.

1. On the day after Christmas all the donations which the Church had received were spread out amongst the poor. These donations were stored in “Alms Boxes” and this is one theory for how the title came about.

2. The servants of rich people had to work hard all of Christmas Day (and before) and so did not get the day off to spend in celebration with their families. Instead they took the following day off and were sent on their way with gifts from their masters. This tradition later expanded to include tradesmen and all those who had helped that person throughout the year and were considered deserving of a gift in return. However some people may have received gifts for no other reason than from the generosity of the giver’s heart.


About Thought Student

A lover of learning who blogs about history, life and opinions at
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