Why is Boxing Day called Boxing Day?
Boxing Day: a time for napping, playing with all the toys you got your hands on at Christmas, and stubbornly refusing to change out of your pyjamas unless there’s a major sale involved.
But what is Boxing Day, other than a day when trains are crap and shops are packed? And how did it get its name?
So. The very, very basics: Boxing Day is the day after Christmas – December 26, celebrated in the UK.
It’s a bank holiday, so banks are closed, shops open later, and public transport definitely isn’t reliable. There are also loads of post-Christmas sales.
Boxing Day’s history and origins are actually fairly contested, as no one is certain of how it got its name.
Some theorise that the name Boxing Day comes from the post-Christmas tradition of churches leaving a box outside their doors to collect money for the less fortunate, while others believe it’s to do with ships, when those aboard would open a box of money to give to a priest in aid of the poor.
But the most commonly believed reason for Boxing Day’s name is to do with servants and their employers.
Back in the middle ages, the day after Christmas was given to servants as a day off, as they had to work on Christmas Day. As the servants left the house their employers would give them a box of Christmas goodies, which they would then share with their families.
Sensing a theme? We’re not sure how or when Boxing Day became all about rushing out to buy more presents for ourselves in the sale, but its origins were definitely in giving money or presents to those less fortunate.
Maybe we should bring it back this year. Skip the sales, and use that cash your aunt sent you to do something lovely.