Canada's Boxing Day

An all too common occurrence .
An all too common occurrence .

It's the Day After Christmas ?

When people of the United States are counting down the shopping days left before Christmas Day, Boxing Day greets the people of Canada on the day after Christmas! And despite what we in the States might think, it is not a day for people to return unwanted Christmas presents. The most often recognized origin of Boxing Day tells us in the United Kingdom during the Middle Ages, the lord of the manor would 'pay' the servants who worked on his land during the year with boxes of practical goods, such as agricultural tools, food and cloth. These were often distributed on the day after Christmas Day.

Boxing Day is celebrated on December 26th if it falls on a weekend, the working day immediately before or after Boxing Day is considered a legal holiday,while in some parts of Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom Boxing Day is mostly known as a shopping holiday. Just as in the USA, it is a time where retailers’ have sales, usually with significant price decreases. Boxing Day has become the day of the year with the greatest revenue for retailers. In recent times, retailers have expanded their deals from Boxing Day to Boxing Week. Many retailers will run the sales for several days before or after 26 December. Sneaky Lil devils!

So remember that the holiday spirit extends all around the globe, not just here in the States. And that spirit still is meant to revolve around the gathering of friends and family, remembering the less fortunate and yes, even filling the coffers of those grand and glorious retail stores! After all, don’t you still like to open at least one gift? And, it does not matter what is in the box, it is the thought behind the gift.

What people do.

To keep the tradition of Boxing Day alive, many businesses, organizations, and families donate their time, services, and money to aid Food Banks and provide gifts for the poor, or they may choose to help an individual family that is in need. Traditionally, family and friends gather with lots of food and celebration. Outdoor sports, especially horse racing, are popular on this holiday. In England, it is traditional for the Premiership and the Football League, as well as Rugby Football leagues, to issue a full program of matches for Boxing Day. Too bad the USA doesn't have a similar day for our NFL games. Huh? we do??? (This is intended as a joke).

And in the Better Them than Me category, untold numbers of dauntless people take a dipping the icy waters of the North Sea for charity. Tradition even encourages people to not only insanely brave the ice cold waters, but to do so wearing many type of costumes in place of swimwear. This is true. You could have seen caterpillar groups, ninja turtles, Santa and more realistic to me, penguin outfits.

Let some Boxing Day myths be exposed here. It has nothing to do with pugilistic confrontations between drunken in-laws who have desperately wanted to take a swing at each other during the past year. (This is intended as another joke!) The name also has nothing to do with people returning unwanted gifts to the stores they came from, hence its common association with returning gift boxes on the day after Christmas.


Better Them than Me!

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