Hello, late in writing coursework ? Don't worry I know who can help you !Trusted Academic Service
Origins: Few Americans have any inkling that there even is such a thing as Boxing Day, let alone what the reason might be for a holiday so named. And even though Boxing Day is celebrated in Australia, Britain, New Zealand, and Canada, not all that many people in those countries have much of a notion as to why they get the 26th of December off. Boxing Day might well be a statutory holiday in some of those lands, but it's not a well understood one.
Despite the lively images suggested by the name, it has nothing to do with pugilistic expositions between tanked-up family members who have dearly been looking forward to taking a round out of each other for the past year. Likewise, it does not gain its name from the overpowering need to rid the house of an excess of wrappings and mountains of now useless cardboard boxes the day after St. Nick arrived to turn a perfectly charming and orderly home into a maelstrom of discarded tissue paper. The name also has nothing to do with returning unwanted gifts to the stores they came from, hence its common association with hauling about boxes on the day after Christmas.
The holiday's roots can be traced to Britain, where Boxing Day is also known as St. Stephen's Day. Reduced to the simplest essence, its origins are found in a long-ago practice of giving cash or durable goods to those of the lower classes. Gifts among equals were exchanged on or before Christmas Day,
but beneficences to those less fortunate were bestowed the day after.
And that's about as much as anyone can definitively say about its origin because once you step beyond that point, it's straight into the quagmire of debated claims and dueling folklorists. Which, by the way, is what we're about to muddy our boots with.
Although there is general agreement that the holiday is of British origin and it has to do with giving presents to the less fortunate, there is still dispute as to how the name came about or precisely what unequal relationship is being recognized.At various times, the following "origins" have been loudly asserted as the correct one:
This dual-versioned theory melds the two previous ones together into a new form — namely, the employer who was obligated to hand out something on Boxing Day, but this time to recipients who were not working the land for him and thus were not dependent on him for all they wore and ate. The "box" thus becomes something beyond ordinary compensation (in a way goods to landed serfs was not), yet it's also not a gift in that there's nothing voluntary about it. Under this theory, the boxes are an early form of Christmas bonus, something employees see as their entitlement.
More elaborate versions of this origin involve boxes kept on sailing ships:
The title has been derived by some, from the box which was kept on board of every vessel that sailed upon a distant voyage, for the reception of donations to the priest — who, in return, was expected to offer masses for the safety of the expedition, to the particular saint having charge of the ship — and above all, of the box. The box was not to be opened until the return of the vessel; and we can conceive that, in cases where the mariners had had a perilous time of it, this casket would be found to enclose a tolerable offering. The mass was at that time called Christmass, and the boxes kept to pay for it were, of course, called Christmass-boxes. The poor, amongst those who had an interest in the fate of these ships, or of those who sailed in them, were in the habit of begging money from the rich, that they might contribute to the mass boxes; and hence the title which has descended to our day, giving to the anniversary of St Stephen's martyrdom the title of Christmas-boxing day, and, by corruption, its present popular one of Boxing Day.
Sightings: In the familiar Christmas carol, Good King Wenceslas' gifts of flesh (meat), wine, and firewood were made to a poor man whom he observed struggling through the snow "on the Feast of Stephen."
Thank you for writing to us! Although we receive hundreds of e-mails every day, we really and truly read them all, and your comments, suggestions, and questions are most welcome. Unfortunately, we can manage to answer only a small fraction of our incoming mail.
Our site covers many of the items currently being plopped into inboxes everywhere, so if you were writing to ask us about something you just received, our search engine can probably help you find the very article you want.
Choose a few key words from the item you're looking for and click here to go to the search engine. (Searching on whole phrases will often fail to produce matches because the text of many items is quite variable, so picking out one or two key words is the best strategy.)
We do reserve the right to use non-confidential material sent to us via this form on our site, but only after it has been stripped of any information that might identify the sender or any other individuals not party to this communication.
We will never send you spam or share your email with nigerian royalty.
Hillary Clinton garnered 4.3 million more votes than Donald Trump … 6K
An 'unpresidented' spelling error in a Tweet sent by Donald Trump … 12K
H.R. 1150 amends the Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom … 56K
A story that a mall Santa beat up a pedophile after a child … 2K
A tweet in which Donald Trump threatened to arrest actor Alec … 3K