Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Boxing Day

This comes from

The Boxing Day tradition began in Britain possibly as early as in the Middle Ages; with regards to its origin, there are two main schools of thought. Some historians maintain that it began as a holiday tradition where house servants, who always had to work on Christmas days, were rewarded the day after. Their employers would put gifts such as food, clothing, or money in “Christmas boxes,” which the servants would then take with them as they departed for family visits. Others say that Boxing Day is so named because churches collected money for the poor in wooden boxes and usually opened them to hand out alms on the day after Christmas. Today, Boxing Day is celebrated in most of the other English-speaking countries that include Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the United States being a notable exception.

The spirit of generosity surrounding this day is best exemplified by the fact that December 26 is also St. Stephen’s Day. St. Stephen was one of the seven original deacons in the Christian Church. He was stoned to death by an angry mob for his devoted piety and faith in Christ. As he expired in a slow and painful death, St. Stephen uttered a powerful prayer in which he begged God to forgive his persecutors. Many consider him to be the first martyr.

Boxing Day is therefore much more than a fun day at the mall; it is meant to be a day of giving and sharing, and of charity and appreciation in an extension of seasonal joy.

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