Friday, 26 December 2008

Merry Christmas, and

a question:

We Yanks don't have a real clear understanding of Boxing Day. Anyone over there care to provide a cultural snapshot for us?

drw

6 comments:

Frances said...

I believe that Boxing Day was traditionally the day on which presents, then known as "Christmas boxes", were given. Does that help?

Faye L. Booth said...

An alternative historical view is that the term dates from the church poor boxes which were traditionally opened on 26/12 and distributed to the poor.

If you want to know what actually happens on Boxing Day now, the average Xmas-celebrating Brit does one of two things: they either get up at the crack of dawn and battle their way into the nearest shopping centre to pay sale prices for cheap tat (or normal prices for decent stuff they could have bought at any other time without constantly being jostled by other shoppers or having to listen to that bloody Slade song), or they stay at home, eat their way through the mountain of leftover food from the previous day (including finishing off a box of chocolates, even the orange creams that nobody likes) and watch repeats of Only Fools and Horses (long-running Cockney sitcom we all love - it's the law). I tend to go for the latter, except I'm a fussy eater so fortunately I don't give myself a coronary.

David Isaak said...

And here I'd thought it involved holiday fisticuffs...

Where's Santa/Father Christman/St Nick in all this?

Faye L. Booth said...

Oh, anything involving family leads to fisticuffs. That's a given.

Father Christmas is back at the North Pole by Boxing Day, enjoying the first of his 364 days of holiday a year. That said, though, one of my local bus companies have made their drivers dress up as Father Xmas this year, so maybe he does that for the rest of the year.

Ellie said...

Boxing Day celebrates the traditional recycling of all the cardboard boxes that everyone's Christmas presents came in. It became a celebration during WW2, when actual presents were in short supply so people just gave one another empty boxes instead. Some tight Brits decided to keep it going when the good times came but Boxing Day is now due a widespread resurgence as a result of the credit crunch.

You should try it in the US. 'Tis cheap.

Eliza

Matt Curran said...

Wow, I didn't know any of this. I thought it was derived from the act of putting all your unwanted presents/relatives in a box and storing them in the cellar until next year...

(...which reminds me, someone needs an airing... sorry, must go...!)