Winter Moon of the New Year
So, Boxing Day has arrived. Like most Americans Boxing Day has always puzzled me. My image of it, for a very long time, was of proper British folk picking up the mess from Christmas day. That had something to do with boxes and it would logically happen the day after Christmas.
Close? Nope. Not at all. Traditionally this was a time when the quality would give gifts to their servants. A sort of after-Christmas Christmas for those on the other side of the baize door. In America, I learned from Wikipdedia, retailers give Boxing Day gifts to persons involved in delivery of goods. This gift usually includes a fifth of Scotch.
Wikipedia, as good a source as any on this topic, says the term may have arisen from metal boxes outside churches in early Rome, money dedicated to St. Stephen and distributed to the poor on his Saint Day, the 26th of December. Or, more likely to me, it comes from the quality giving servants the day after Christmas off in return for their Christmas running smoothly. Servants were often given boxes of food and gifts to take as they traveled to see their families.
Whatever the rationale or tradition, it is now upon us, so… Happy Boxing Day!