A Brief History of Boxing Day

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Margaret Wood, Journalist

Ah, yes. Boxing Day. The best holiday… is it even a holiday though? Why is it special? Are there even boxes involved in Boxing Day? Well, you’d have to go way back to 1663 England to find out. All the servants and workers were busy working for their aristocratic families on Christmas and the weeks leading up to it. While the wealthy were celebrating the holiday, the maids, butlers, cooks, etc, were providing for them and making sure their day was special. But the day after Christmas, they could show their appreciation for their servants either by giving small gifts, more money, or a day off to spend time with their families. The first evidence of this Boxing Day tradition was by English Parliamentarian Samuel Pepys’s diary entry where he wrote about giving his shoemaker extra money. Fast forwarding to the Victorian Era, Boxing Day has become more mainstream. As well as the little gifts for servants and workers, churches now participated in Boxing Day by putting out donation boxes to the poor. Today, the original traditions of Boxing Day have mostly died out. But, we have created new traditions over the years. Some of these traditions include sales at stores, horse racing, rugby, and even actual boxing tournaments!