What exactly is Boxing Day?

Australians Celebrate Boxing Day
Australians Celebrate Boxing Day / Diego Fedele/GettyImages

If you live in the U.S., then you may have heard of Boxing Day, but you might not have a clue what it means. And even if you have celebrated Boxing Day, you may not know its meaning or its origins.

So if you have ever wondered about this holiday that falls on December 26, we have you covered! And it might just inspire you to maybe add another day to your Christmas celebrations.

According to Britannica,

"Boxing Day, in Great Britain and some Commonwealth countries, particularly Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, holiday (December 26) on which servants, tradespeople, and the poor traditionally were presented with gifts. By the 21st century it had become a day associated with shopping and sporting events."

The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica

How do people celebrate Boxing Day?

In the past, Boxing Day was literally about the boxes that would be handed off to employees on the day after Christmas, and even giving to the poor after the festivities of the holidays. Think of this day as a chance to box up leftover food and bringing it to people in need or even as a chance to pull out old toys and clothes and donating them. In a lot of ways, this is the embodiment of "out with the old and in with the new," as we are bringing new things in at Christmas and then taking out the things that are no longer being used or played with.

Of course, modern times have certainly seen a shift in how we celebrate so many holidays and that includes Boxing Day. Now it is more of an after Christmas celebration with people taking advantage of after holiday sales and enjoying other activities.

It is less about giving to the poor and more about extending the celebrations of Christmas. And yet, knowing more about the origins of Boxing Day certainly has us considering the idea of changing things up this year and finding ways to give back to those in need. Maybe it is time to go through those closets and give away things you are no longer using so that someone else can benefit from using them.

How do you celebrate Boxing Day? Did you know the origins of the holiday?

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