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> What The Heck Is Boxing Day?
Todd Simpson
Dec 26 2019, 03:17 AM
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Dec 26 2019, 03:17 AM


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After asking around about this and getting some good feedback. I finally know what this phrase means and where it comes from. It's something anyone in the UK would be familiar with. We don't use this phrase here in the states, but it's used on every single Dr. Who Xmas Special, so I have heard it quite a bit smile.gif

Short answer? It's from an old tradition where servants and such would be allowed to visit their families the day after xmas, since they would be serving their master on xmas day itself. They would be allowed to visit their family the day after and would be given an "Christmas Box" which had gifts/bonuses/food/etc. Even though folks get xmas day off these days, the day after xmas is still called "Boxing Day" in the UK. Here is the handy wiki entry phill shared.

There are competing theories for the origins of the term, none of which is definitive.[2] The Oxford English Dictionary gives the earliest attestations from Britain in the 1830s, defining it as "the first weekday after Christmas day, observed as a holiday on which postmen, errand boys, and servants of various kinds expect to receive a Christmas box".[3]The term "Christmas box" dates back to the 17th century, and among other things meant:
A present or gratuity given at Christmas: in Great Britain, usually confined to gratuities given to those who are supposed to have a vague claim upon the donor for services rendered to him as one of the general public by whom they are employed and paid, or as a customer of their legal employer; the undefined theory being that as they have done offices for this person, for which he has not directly paid them, some direct acknowledgement is becoming at Christmas.[4]

In Britain, it was a custom for tradesmen to collect "Christmas boxes" of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year.[5] This is mentioned in Samuel Pepys' diary entry for 19 December 1663.[6] This custom is linked to an older British tradition where the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families since they would have to serve their masters on Christmas Day. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts, bonuses, and sometimes leftover food. Until the late 20th century there continued to be a tradition among many in the UK to give a Christmas gift, usually cash, to vendors although not on Boxing Day as many would not work on that day.

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This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Dec 26 2019, 03:17 AM
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PosterBoy
Dec 31 2019, 11:18 AM
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Dec 31 2019, 11:18 AM


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After 13 years in Ireland I still have to remind myself they call it St Stephen's Day and not Boxing Day

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Todd Simpson
Jan 2 2020, 08:12 AM
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Jan 2 2020, 08:12 AM


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Thats a new one on me! St Stephens Day. I'll look it up!
QUOTE (PosterBoy @ Dec 31 2019, 06:18 AM) *
After 13 years in Ireland I still have to remind myself they call it St Stephen's Day and not Boxing Day

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