Happy Boxing Day!
There are many theories about the origin of Boxing Day, most probably having their roots in the truth. Going back to ancient, pre-Christian Rome, Saturnalia was a celebration during which slave owners would switch roles with their slaves, giving them gifts and treating them well – although I don’t want to venture a guess as to what happened the rest of the year! Centuries later in Britain, the Feast of Saint Stephen on December 26 induced churches to place metal boxes outside to collect special offerings.
When Christmas came to the large country estates, all the serfs would gather the day after Christmas, and the lord of the manor would present them with their annual allotment of practical goods, putting them in boxes for the underlings to carry back to their far-flung corners of the estate. And, in later years, servants and apprentices would bring boxes to their employers the day after Christmas and they would be given coins to put in their box.
Britain brought their Boxing Day tradition to its Commonwealth nations, and now we Canadians observe this holiday, but mostly by shopping or sleeping off our Christmas dinner.
Perhaps you’d like to continue the giving, in the tradition of the early Boxing Day? If so, allwomenstalk.com has some great ideas for d.i.y. gift boxes, in which you can enclose a lovely surprise (food, gifts, thoughtfulness?) for your friends, neighbours, family, or even a lucky stranger.