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Boxing Day....

47 comments


I have only recently realized this day exists for the UK and probably other areas I’m not aware of…..I have read the history of the holiday but would like to know what it has evolved to in modern day UK…How do each of you celebrate it or do you? This should probably be in the question area but I chose the blog area because I think more members make time for blog reading…thanks for your input…I shall enjoy becoming a bit more familiar with your customs…

BTW….MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

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Comments

 

I dont myself, but most people over here now days can't wait for it to come to go round all the big sales, not my cup of tea, the shops are usually packed full.

9 Dec, 2008

 

Sounds like you (brits) use it the same way we use the Friday after Thanksgiving. We call it "Black Friday". It is the biggest sale day of the year and the stores usually sell enough to put them in the "Black" for the year. I don't go anywhere near a store the crowds are horrific!

9 Dec, 2008

 

O Skippy5869, I can remember boxing day, back in the 70's and we gave cash gifts to all the delivery people, milk, laundry etc. It's too bad so many don't do it anymore, but I guess that fewer companies deliver now days! I also would like to hear from any who still celebrate this holiday. ??

9 Dec, 2008

 

Wohli, I had to go back and read your "about me" section. How great to have experienced two sides of this community. The UK and the US. There are so many other countries represented as well. I am hoping to hear from some of them as to whether they celebrate this day as well.

Clarice, I saw the pictures of the Christmas lights you posted. Great experience. I understand your reluctance to go to those sales and be subjected to the crowds. I know there are people who do thrive on the crowds and festivities. Thanx for your input.

9 Dec, 2008

 

In the North of England become known as Ladies day initially intended to recognise the huge effort Christmas is for most ladies .

So ladies get the day off to spend at their leisure.

Nowadays it has degenerated into huge female drinking sessions - recognising the huge effort it is for the younger generation to remain upright.

St Stephens Day Dec 26th. Some bizarre rituals were carried out in parts of UK including hunting and killing wrens as these birds were thought to have betrayed St. Stephen prior to his martyrdom.

Thankfully practise has stopped but ceremony persists and in certain areas people still dress up and act out this ritual.

9 Dec, 2008

 

Many families sort of extend Christmas over two days.
For instance those relatives you don't invite on Christmas Day, you ask around on Boxing Day, to help you eat up the food left over from the previous day. :o)

It can almost seem like there's no 'normality' from 25th Dec. until 2nd January.

Some people living on their own feel very lonely over Christmas and Boxing Day, but if you have pets it is much better. :o)

Very lovely picture of Lady Bug. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you Skippy and your Mom and your pets. :o)

9 Dec, 2008

 

Wow!, BB. Only one site I consulted mentioned St Stephens day. I'm impressed with your knowledge. I had not heard of the killing of wrens.

I will have to say, us Ladies, so to speak have also deteriorated in the US with the younger generations. Not all, of course, but some. (I'm sure that goes for your area as well.)

Thanks for your input. I appreciate it. Have you decorated a tree in the back garden for Cyril, yet?

9 Dec, 2008

 

BB, is there anything special that you do on that day to celebrate it for yourself or Jane?

9 Dec, 2008

 

TT, I wondered if the two days would spill over into each other or if they were truly defined as separate days with separate customs for each of the two days-Christmas and Boxing day....Mom's doing fine now and so are my pets...I agree that pets can help through the holidays...Our plants and plans for our gardens can also give us food for thought during an otherwise lonely time...Thanx, TT.

9 Dec, 2008

 

Oh yes Skippy the original idea was great as men were supposed to do their bit whilst ladies relaxed.

Jane will visit her female friends and expect everything neat and tidy on her return!

Our drinking laws are much more lax than yours - is it still 21 in most of your States? Here its 18 with almost 24hr drinking and alcohol freely available in most stores.

School children seem to have ready access to it which is not good.

Anyway enough of that have a decorated tree at the front but Cyril not keen on the lights.So will decorate his stump and he ll have some suet balls instead of stuffing with his dinner.

9 Dec, 2008

 

Oh, I'm sure it will be neat and tidy upon her return. You know, I believe the drinking age differs with each State. I know there is lots of drinking that goes on at the universities. Most of those kids are 18 or older. They can always get alcohol for their parties.

I am so glad Cyril will have his own quiet little celebration designed to his own likes.

9 Dec, 2008

 

It always used to be known as St Stephen's Day - but long ago. Do you know the Carol 'Good King Wenceslas'? The King was off to help a 'poor man' with goodies on that day.

Then as Woolieboolie (sorry - lol) said - it was traditionally the day when you were meant to hand over cash gifts to tradesmen. Some people still give the 'Waste Disposal Operatives', (being PC here!) the postman and the newspaper deliverer a 'tip' at Christmas. Not on Boxing Day any longer, though!

We tend to use it as an extension to Christmas Day and visit other family members.

Clarice is SO right - I definitely won't be fighting my way through crowds for the sales that open on that day now.

9 Dec, 2008

 

Thanks for your input, Spritz. There are many people here who converge on the stores and malls the day after Christmas to return gifts and catch the sales but, like you, I stay away from the whole crowd thing. We don't have stores in Clifton but it was that way when I lived in Phoenix.

9 Dec, 2008

 

Hi Skippy as a Child we`d visit the Part Of Family we didnt see on Christmas Day , Even now My Children Spend Boxing Day with their Dads Side of the Family as theyd been with Me & My Family 4 Christmas Day :) i dont Remember the giving Tips ect :/ Its just like haveing 2Christmas Days as others have z already :) How Great is that Skippy ;) O I Must not 4get the Shop Sales That All Start as well :)

9 Dec, 2008

 

we still call it St.Stephens day over here.
our pubs and bars dont open on xmas day so come St.Stephens day they are usually busy lol

9 Dec, 2008

 

Oh, Irish, I was hoping you would respond. Do you think your area is the only part of the UK that still refers to it as St. Stephen's day? I know BB says it used to be called that. Funny about the bars but I guess it is the same most places. I'm sure most people don't go without on Christmas day. Just have to plan ahead. Irish , is there anything in particular that you do for yourself on that day?

Jacque, It sounds like boxing day is more for visiting family or getting in on the Christmas sales for the most part. I am enjoying the input from so many different areas.

9 Dec, 2008

 

Probably in Northern Ireland they might still refer to it as Boxing day but in the republic we have always called it St.Stephens day.
you should see the shops and off licences here on xmas eve Skippy lol you would think it was the last day to buy booze lol.
i usually go visit family on this day

9 Dec, 2008

 

Hi Skippy Spritzs comment about Good King Wenceslas reminded me that He was from Eastern Europe and Wenceslas square in Prague Czech Republic is beautiful.
Where he looked out on the feast of Stephen.

Think Chrispook in Hungary will know more as St Stephens Day very important there.

9 Dec, 2008

 

Question, Irish. I don't know what off licenses means...does it mean sold at a cheaper price? Or am I giving you a good belly laugh?

Thanks for the info BB. I'll go online and look at that square. Not the same as seeing it live but the closest I'll ever get.

I hope that Chrispook responds and someone from Australia, Hawaii and Fiji and any other country we haven't heard from yet.

9 Dec, 2008

 

In Wales Boxing Day is called 'Gwyl Sant Steffan' ie St.Stephen's Day.
It's my mother's birthday and my grandparents' wedding anniversary too, so it was like another Christmas Day for us years ago.
My father's mother came to us on Christmas day and then Boxing Day was with my mum's family for that reason.

9 Dec, 2008

 

Skippy, 'Off-licenses' are shops that just sell alcohol - and maybe a few soft drinks. We have them in the UK as well. The licensing hours may well be different, though.

9 Dec, 2008

 

Bit like your liquor stores Skippy - can you explain the brown bags and why people drink out of them ? Is it illegal to display it ? Or are they just being lazy in case they sick on the stuff ?

9 Dec, 2008

 

We have Boxing Day in Canada and you're right Wohlibuli, it is exactly like your Black Friday. There are people who camp out in front of some stores to be the first in line for the sales. Not for me!! We visit with family who we didn't see on Christmas day or Christmas Eve.

BB, the brown bags are because it is illegal to drink alcohol in a public place unless it is licenced to serve alcohol. At least, that is the law in Canada. I think it is the same in the States. It's kind of silly really to have the paper bag. If you see one you know that it is alcohol they are drinking. I think your idea of it being convenient if they need a sick bag is very apt. LOL.

9 Dec, 2008

 

When we lived in the Midlands the men went on a shoot for the pot, then we moved away from the area,so that put an end to that.
Now as most of the members report it is usually spent visiting the other relations...... and eating up the cold turkey with bubble and squeak, and anything else we can find, usually a more relaxing day, after the hectic Christmas Day festivities.

9 Dec, 2008

 

I think it's because it is illegal to drink alcohol in a public place in the States so the bottle/can is 'hidden' in a brown paper bag

9 Dec, 2008

 

Gilli and Andrew are right. It is illegal to drink alcohol in public places (except bars and places licensed to serve it) in all but 7 states. The paper bag is supposed to hide what it is but everyone knows what it is and the paper bag is just a red flag. Why bother.

DD, did everyone in the midlands spend the day that way or was it just the way a certain group of people decided to spend the day?

9 Dec, 2008

 

Hi Skippy, no not everyone we hail from farming stock most of our neighbours were farmers who had little time for sport,
so they made the most of it on Boxing Day.

9 Dec, 2008

 

The alcohol laws in the US are varied by state and Georgia has some of the strangest. Most of them are based on religious objections, that's what comes of living in the "Bible Belt". Here grocery stores can sell beer and wine but not hard liquor, nothing can be sold on Sunday except in bars and then only after noon. Other states are different, I believe NC sells all in grocery stores and supermarkets and even on Sunday. If I remember correctly PA sells hard liquor in state run stores but if you want a six pack of beer you have to buy it at a bar.
As you can see a lot of states and a lot of different laws!
The problem of drinking on campuses is bad in some areas and the univs are trying to crack down, at my daughters univ it is an automatic expulsion if you are found to have alcohol. She is smart enough to not risk it but many are not, she is of legal age now but has had 4 friends get kicked out over her first 2 years there. Her degree is too important to her!

9 Dec, 2008

 

Hywel,
How cool that your mother was born on her parents anniversary or have I misunderstood or assumed incorrectly. Did your father's Mum return home on Christmas day or did she stay the following day, also?

9 Dec, 2008

 

Thanks for the detail Wohli...glad your daughter's education means so much to her....

9 Dec, 2008

 

Here in Fiji we do celebrate Christmas and Boxing Day, we get Public Holidays for these two days .

For Christmas Day we normally have big family get togethers, where all the extended families join in for the day. We exchange gifts and go to church in the morning then its feasting at lunch. It's always a time of togetherness and family.

What's popular here is (lovo lunch) where our lunch is cooked in the earthen oven, all food packed and stacked neatly in an earthen pit then covered with leaves and hot stones. It takes about 3 to 4 hours for this to be cooked and ready.

Then we the ladies partake in the setting up of the food for lunch whilst our men folks sit around the grog bowel drinking their kava until they are called to come and eat.(Its our culture here where men always eat first, before the women and children) but it's not as strict as before, nowdays we all try to sit together and eat if possible, but still men are given the first preference.

Boxing Day is a day where we eat up all the left overs or share them out to those relatives who are still around to take home with them and more or less its a day of relaxing, going out to picnics or just resting at home with family after all the activities of the previous day are over.

Whilst on this note, I take this opportunity in Wishing You A Merry Xmas and a Blessed and Successful New Year!!

10 Dec, 2008

 

Boy Skippy, now see what you've started! Everyone is joining in! It is so great to read all the different cultures and how these holidays are celebrated throughout the world.
Well, in Holland they call it second Christmas Day. Just another day for meeting family and eating, banks closed of course.
The real meaning behind it I learned from my mother in law ages ago now, that all the delivery men ( milk, bread, paper etc. ) who has been faithful to their services all year, would get a box ( envelope ) with some money as an extra if they'd come around that day, originating from the olden days when the poor got left overs boxed after Xmas.
Here boxing day is also a bank holiday and public holiday. On Christmas it is a family celebration, often on the beaches. But boxing day now is when the SALES start and all the department stores etc. are OPEN and people rush in for their bargains. So, nothing churchlike here on boxing day. Thank you Panther, same to you of course.

10 Dec, 2008

 

Hi Skippy,
My Gran went home in the night of Christmas Day. She went to my aunt the next day.
Gran only lived 3 miles away. We saw her often.

My other Gran and Grampa lived 5 miles away. We saw a lot of them too.
You are right.- my Mum was born on their anniversary - Boxing Day.
My mother sais all the fuss was because of their anniversary and not her birthday since there was no such thing on her sisters birthday.

10 Dec, 2008

 

Thanks for clarifying, Hywel.

10 Dec, 2008

 

Thank you, Panther. It surprised me that you also celebrate Boxing day. I was really impressed by the lovo lunch. Sounds like a lot of work but also appears that everyone joins in to help.

10 Dec, 2008

 

Marguerite, I never dreamed I would get information on Holland from you. Isn't it great that older people have shared their treasured information with the younger generation. (not that I am part of the younger generation, any more lol) I truly had never heard of Boxing day before joining GoY. It must be very nice to go to the beach for your Christmas celebration. (Haven't been picking up any more of those shells, have you?) We also have that day after Christmas sale day but it doesn't have any particular name. Our after Christmas specials go on until after New Years.

10 Dec, 2008

 

Gosh Skippy, I'm quite proud at having inspired such a popular blog! My childhood experiences were similar to TT and Jaques. It's only quite recently (to me!) that stores have been open and shopping popular.

10 Dec, 2008

 

Thanks, RJ, appreciate.

10 Dec, 2008

 

I had three grandparents alive while growing up and they all lived within a mile of us. The usual thing was to spend Xmas Day with one side of the family and Boxing Day with the other side (as my Mum had three sisters all with two children, this was always a big 'party')

10 Dec, 2008

 

Andrew, Did you alternate the sides of the family or was it the same side of the family every Christmas and the other on Boxing day?

We used to have a Christmas party every year between the 15th and 20th of the month. Each family was to bring a dish for the dinner. After dinner and just as it was getting dark, sleigh bells would ring signaling the arrival of Santa. He brought a bag of toys and goodies for every child 13 yrs old and under. I had 11 brothers and sisters and they all had children. Our last party included 115 people and I was the one who coordinated it each year. 4 years ago I advised everyone I was no longer going to organize the party and festivities. It was too stressful. No one stepped forward to take over the party arrangements and we have not had one since.

The wonderful part was the interaction between all the kids. They truly enjoyed themselves.

10 Dec, 2008

Ams
Ams
 

web....
Some say the tradition stems from Roman times when money to pay for athletic games was collected in boxes. Amongst the ruins of Pompeii, boxes made out of earthenware with slits in the top full of coins have been found. Later the Romans brought the idea of collecting boxes to Britain, and monks and clergy soon used similar boxes to collect money for the poor at Christmas. On the day after Christmas, the priests used to open the boxes and distribute the contents to the poor of the village. Thus this day came to be called Boxing Day.

11 Dec, 2008

 

Wow! Ams. That's even further back than the stuff I was reading on the web...makes you think, doesn't it? Thanks for the info...Many churches and organizations collect money,useable items and food to give to the needy prior to Christmas here in the US. (I'm sure you have organizations which do the same)

11 Dec, 2008

 

Sure is great to learn Skippy and your blog stimulated some really interesting things well done.

Thanks Ams didnt know about boxing day derivation.

Many of us Brits believe that in some States easier to buy a gun than a drink which if true would terrify many of us .

Would probably be quite a lethal combination in our house over Christmas ! Wondered why Jane been looking over that church wall a lot recently.

11 Dec, 2008

 

Oh my, BB. I'm sure in certain black market endeavors your statement would be true but alcohol is sold everywhere in grocery stores and the whole bit but I would have to sign my life away to get a gun and rightfully so. There are "dry" counties and states where there is no alcohol sold but all the public has to do is go to the next county or state if they really want it.

You are right that the combination of guns and alcohol cause many of our tragic events which occur in some households.

Jane? Are you going to let him get away with that last statement? (hehe) HELLO, Jane. You there?

11 Dec, 2008

 

dont say Jane is missing? first it was clueless kev then david's dog Toto and now Jane. what is going on lol

11 Dec, 2008

 

LOL, Oh, Irish, you are so funny...I wish I could think that fast...I'm sure BB will have an explanation...

11 Dec, 2008

 

Come Boxing Day, I start to wish it were March, and seed-sowing time again. For us, a "chill out" day, either at home, or out for a drive or walk. Nothing too energetic!

12 Dec, 2008

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