TRADITIONS OF BOXING DAY
“Boxing Day” is a holiday celebrated the day after Christmas Day. It originated in the United Kingdom and is celebrated in a number of countries that previously belonged to the British Empire. Those of us who hail from Northern Europe have been known to celebrate this unique tradition here in the Colonies as well.
There are competing theories for the origins of the term “Boxing Day”, none of which is definitive. As near as can be surmised, “Boxing Day” originated in the 1830s upon which postmen, errand boys and servants of various kinds were gifted boxes for good service throughout the year.
Over the last 180 plus years, “Boxing Day” has become a celebration unto itself – including not only “boxes” of presents and cash, but parades, rugby games pitting traditional, crosstown rivals (think UCLA v. USC here in “The Colonies”); cricket matches (Britain’s version of baseball); horse races; and even yacht races. In fact, “Boxing Day” has become a traditional day of hunting (including mounted foxhound or harrier packs (yes, they still do that in Merry Ol’ England) and footpacks of hounds or beagles).
And here we Americans thought that “Boxing Day” just meant that Ol’ Kris Kringle might step into the ring.