Why Do We Have Boxing Day?


Quick Answer

According to Time Magazine, Boxing Day evolved from a tradition of aristocrats giving gift boxes to their servants the day after Christmas. The servants had the day following Christmas off to celebrate the holiday. Additionally, the Anglican church traditionally collected donations for charity prior to Christmas. These boxes of donations were distributed the day after Christmas.

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Why Do We Have Boxing Day?
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Full Answer

Boxing Day is a holiday that falls the day after Christmas and is notably observed in England, Ireland and Canada. It has been a recognized holiday since 1871. In the days of the aristocracy, the servants worked on Christmas as their employers needed them to staff the festivities. The day after Christmas, the servants were awarded a Christmas box of gifts and had the day off to celebrate.

The other main tradition involving Christmas boxes was the Anglican church ritual of collecting donations for the needy. These donations were collected in boxes. The day after Christmas, the boxes were opened, and the contents were charitably distributed.

Both of these traditions are well-documented, but there is no definitive answer on which practice led to the establishment of the modern Boxing Day. As of 2014, the holiday typically involves watching a soccer match, shopping retail sales and visiting with friends.

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