“Boxing Day is traditionally a day following Christmas when wealthy people and homeowners in the United Kingdom would give a box containing a gift to their servants. Nowadays Boxing Day is better known as a bank or public holiday that occurs on December 26, or the first or second weekday after Christmas Day, depending on national or regional laws. It is observed in Great Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and some other Commonwealth nations.
In South Africa, Boxing Day was renamed Day of Goodwill in 1994. In Ireland it is recognized as St. Stephen’s Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Stiofáin) or the Day of the Wren (Irish: Lá an Dreoilín). In the Netherlands, Lithuania, Austria, Germany, Scandinavia and Poland, December 26 is celebrated as the Second Christmas Day.
This custom is linked to an older English tradition: in exchange for ensuring that wealthy landowners’ Christmases ran smoothly, their servants were allowed to take the 26th off to visit their families. The employers gave each servant a box containing gifts and bonuses (and sometimes leftover food). The tradition has long included giving money and other gifts to those who were needy and in service positions.”
Boxing Day is not celebrated in the U.S. but it doesn’t seem like a bad idea to have a day that is dedicated to providing much needed goods and services to those who are less fortunate. The
depression recession has made it increasingly difficult to make ends meet — even for those among us who are fortunate enough to be employed.
At this time it also seems like a good idea to acknowledge the hard work of people who are in service positions. Ever tried some of those jobs? It’s NOT easy to deal with a demanding, often impatient, public for subsistence wages.
‘Tis the season for reflection. What am I thinking about as we leave a year filled with strife and (ongoing) protests? I’m wondering what steps can we take to make things better for all — not just some — of us. Hmmm…the Boxing Day tradition of employers being considerate of their employees is a good start. I wonder if something like that could ever catch on?