Celebrating Boxing Day on December 26 seems like a very English tradition. As far back as the Middle Ages between the fifth and 15th centuries, Lord and Ladies handed out boxes of food and gifts to servants the day after Christmas. Today, however, it has turned into little more than another shopping day, like Black Friday. So what is Boxing Day, and how did it come about?
Eventually, Stephen was declared a saint. Today, he’s remembered as a great example of how people should give generously. Boxing Day was most likely inspired by him.
In History and Song
The 1853 Christmas carol, “Good King Wenceslas,” tells the story of the Duke of Bohemia, who was assassinated in 935. He was called a Rex Justus, which means Righteous King, after his death. A Czech chronicler wrote of him:
“But his deeds I think you know better than I could tell you; for, as is read in his Passion, no one doubts that, rising every night from his noble bed, with bare feet and only one chamberlain, he went around to God’s churches and gave alms generously to widows, orphans, those in prison and afflicted by every difficulty, so much so that he was considered, not a prince, but the father of all the wretched.”
Keeping With Tradition
Gifts are always appreciated, but it is in the act of giving and the care of others that we can celebrate the true meaning of Boxing Day.