Boxing Day: A Day for Giving Alms to the Poor

A Boxing Day sketch

Boxing Day: A Day for Giving Alms to the Poor

A political cartoon expressing the meaning of Boxing Day
A political cartoon expressing the meaning of Boxing Day

Boxing Day, Dec. 26, is no longer celebrated in most of the United States, although it continues in other English-speaking countries.

The holiday originated as the day when churches distributed alms to the poor.

Its name comes from the tradition of giving Christmas boxes, Christmas gifts or gratuities paid during the holiday season. The name also is derived from the church collection box.

Boxing Day was the day servants were given off for working on Christmas. Servants also were given small gifts, and tradesmen received gifts from their employers.

It also was a day to visit with friends and enjoy ham, holiday leftovers and light lunches. Among the affluent, especially in Britain, it was a day for fox hunting.

The holiday dates from the 1830s, but the tradition of giving servants and employees gifts at Christmas dates back to the 17th century.

Today, Boxing Day is a day for seeking the best after-Christmas sales, making returns and watching sports.

In some nations, it is a federal holiday and can be celebrated on the 27th if the 26th is a Sunday. Employees are given the day off, and those who must work receive holiday pay.

Instagram
Twitter
Amazon
Youtube
Goodreads
LinkedIn
Pinterest

Enjoy history and historical fiction?  Join the mailing list and stay up-to-date on book releases, news, beta reading opportunities and more.

Updated:  20 October 2020
Melina Druga
Most kids have an active imagination. My imagination has stayed strong into adulthood, and I’ve funneled that creativity into a successful writing career. I write history, both fiction and nonfiction, because although your school history classes may have been boring, the past is not. My goal is to bring the past to life in all its myriad of colors.

One thought on “Boxing Day: A Day for Giving Alms to the Poor

Comments are closed.

Back To Top