Did you know that in some countries December 26th is a federal holiday? It’s called Boxing Day! Read on for the Boxing Day meaning and some traditions you can do with your own family.
Offices, banks, and businesses are closed the day after Christmas in Commonwealth countries (Australia, Canada, the UK, etc.).
Why? Boxing Day!
What, you ask, does Boxing Day mean?
Well, no one’s quite sure if the name originated from a “Christmas box” or not. It may have originated from a box outside churches to collect alms for the poor, or even sealed boxes taken on ship’s voyages for good luck.
Any way you slice it, the holiday – while not religious – is dedicated to blessing others for their service throughout the year.
Where the term Boxing Day originated
While not a religious holiday, traditionally, Boxing Day remembers workers, employees, and those less fortunate. Gifts were collected and given to the needy and those in positions of service. The exact origins are unclear, but European traditions date back to the Middle Ages.
There are a few theories on why the day is termed “boxing day.” One theory says the less fortunate received gifts known as “Christmas boxes” as a way to show appreciation and blessing for their service year round.
Another theory is that wealthy employers gave their employees the day after Christmas off to spend time with their families.
So, if you find yourself with some time over the next few days and are still in the Christmas spirit, extend the holiday cheer to those around you.
Boxing Day Traditions You Can Start
1. Box up your Christmas leftovers and bring to families less fortunate than your own.
2. After new Christmas toys have been organized and put away, go through your children’s stash with your kids and pick some toys to donate to others.
3. Ask your local church if they know of any families who have had a rough Christmas season. Then, if they don’t want to be known for privacy reasons, ask your pastor if there are any needs that you can meet this week for someone in their congregation. As a family, meet that need.
4. Spend time in prayer with your own family for those around you who are less fortunate than your own.
5. Write thank you notes, and have your children color or draw on them as well, for people who have served your family throughout the year. Whether it’s people who work at stores you frequent or those who have simply made a huge difference in your life, express your gratitude.
6. Bake cookies or treats for those who are still working during this season like your local fireman, police, or ambulance drivers.
7. As a family, serve at a local food kitchen or homeless shelter.
8. Invite an individual or family into your home who may not have had the opportunity to celebrate Christmas. Use it as an opportunity to give hospitality and love.
9. Brainstorm and plan how your family might serve others in your sphere of influence and community in the upcoming year. Sort of like a New Year’s Resolution, but for others not yourself.
Enjoy this day with your family
So, hopefully you’ve learned something new today. I never knew Boxing Day existed until I lived in England, and now I’m a big fan!
As the holiday season draws to a close, this is a great opportunity for us to think outward and onward. Let’s think about how we can show appreciation and love for those who are busy serving others all year round.
Happy New Year!
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