Happy Boxing Day!!!

This Boxing Day post has become somewhat of an annual tradition here at Filosofa’s Word.  Occasionally I ponder doing a new one, but this one pretty much covers all the bases, so why re-invent the wheel?   So please join me in wishing all our friends in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the UK the very Happiest Boxing Day!!!

BoxingNo no no no no … not that kind of boxing!  Boxing Day is on December 26th, the day after Christmas, and it is a bank holiday in the UK and Canada.  A brief bit about the origins of Boxing Day …

There are a few competing stories for the origin of the name, and while none are definitive, the one that seems most commonly accepted is that the day after Christmas was when servants of the wealthy were given time off to visit their family, as they were needed to work on Christmas Day. Each servant would be given a box to take home with food, a bonus and gifts. In Britain, it was a custom for tradespeople to collect “Christmas boxes” of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year.


Now, that said, last year our friend rawgod gave me his explanation of the Canadian celebration of Boxing Day, at least in his household as a child …

“Each year an xmas tree was brought to the house, often on xmas eve. All the decorations were brought out of storage, and hung to decorate the tree. In those days baubles were not made of plastic, but rather blown glass. They were very delicate, and much too easily broken, as my poor bum learned every year. Moving on, the tree was the centrepiece of our home xmas day, and the next day, we put all the unbroken decorations into their special boxes so they could survive to the next xmas. By suppertime everything was boxed, and stored–thus Boxing Day.”

And this is what my house looks like on this Boxing Day!boxing-day

So how do our friends up north and across the big pond celebrate Boxing Day?  I went ‘in search of …’ and came up with some fun things, though I strongly suspect that most people spend the day recuperating from Christmas.  Let’s look at a few …

There is an annual barrel rolling race in Grantchester, Cambridgeshire


Until 2004 when the UK imposed a ban on fox-hunting, it used to be a tradition on Boxing Day.  Last year, Colette commented that legal or not, fox-hunting …

“As for fox hunting (despite tradition, I hate it), it still occurs. Meets go out following scent trails by people sent up ahead. The hounds are supposed to follow that and eventually find the people. Horses follow. But the hounds very often find real foxes which they tear to shreds if found. I am opposed to this horrific practice. The whole industry (and it is a lucrative industry) is a travesty akin to Bear Baiting or Cock Fighting, both long outlawed in Britain.”

Boxing-Day-2.jpgI understand that sports are big on boxing day, with horse racing and football.  But remember that what they call ‘football’ is actually what we in the U.S. refer to as soccer.  I asked one of my friends across the pond once, when he mentioned ‘football’ if he was referring to the kind with an ovoid pigskin ball where large people try to kill one another, or the kind that is played with a geometric-patterned black & white ball.  I was informed in no uncertain terms that he was referring to ‘real’ football and that what we called football was but a cheap knock-off. I never made that mistake again!

soccerAnd then there is shopping.  One article I read compared Boxing Day shopping with Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, in the U.S.  Apparently all the stores have huge sales.  But my question here is … who has any money after Christmas?

shoppingAnd so, to our friends across the big pond, however you spend Boxing Day, I hope it is a fun and/or relaxing day for you!  Happy Boxing Day!!!


42 thoughts on “Happy Boxing Day!!!

  1. And nows, after that bit of fun we get into training for the next one. Starting usually with the Boxing Day Sales. This year of course there’s little of that with the lockdowns closing most shops. I went shopping for food-groan- but for the life of me could not find bread with a date longer than tomorrow.

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    • I’m betting that were it not for the lockdown and shops being closed, you and Mike would have been out shopping for more than bread today! I guess you guys didn’t beat the crowds and they hoarded all the freshest bread, eh? I would bake you some and send it, but at the rate my packages travel ‘cross the pond, it would be covered in mold by the time it arrived!

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    • I can SO relate to that! Every time we get an Amazon order, the kitties lay claim to the boxes before we can get them to the trash, hence we have a multitude of cardboard boxes, along with cat beds, a kitty condo, a large carpeted cheese wedge, and a laundry basked filled with toy mice, balls, and other kitty toys in our living room. Actually, I shouldn’t say ‘our’ living room, for I think it is theirs! If one of us gets up to go to the kitchen in the evening, one or more of the cats will be occupying our chair when we return! Furry family members are the best, aren’t they?

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  2. I haven’t purchased any holiday ornaments for YEARS so was surprised (and yet not) to read what rawgod wrote about the old glass balls being replaced with plastic. I guess it’s fitting since trees are often plastic nowadays as well. And yet people rant about plastic pollution. Hypocrisy at its finest.

    Hope “the day” was merry for you and all your readers.

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    • While it’s true there are plastic ornaments out there, most are still glass, it seems. We generally buy one new special ornament each year, but other than that, I haven’t bought new ones in decades. Yes, hypocrisy is rampant these days, and I’m appalled at the amount of plastic I find everything packaged in these days!

      We did have a happy day, and I’m happy it’s done with, for it’s so exhausting!

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  3. Jill, thanks for the history lesson. Here it means flattening all the clothes boxes and storing them for next year. I hope you had a delightful Christmas. We did here with my kids, my sister and my daughter’s beau. Happy Boxing Day. Keith

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    • My pleasure, Keith, though it was the same post I’ve done on Boxing Day for a few years now … I think this was maybe the 4th year! Here, Boxing Day means pretty much the same thing it does at your house! That, and putting the gifts away, taking a break from the kitchen! Happy Boxing Day!

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  4. Jill, here the day after Christmas is called Stefanstag, after the Saint who has his day on December 26th. That’s just as good a reason to call the 2nd Christmas Day as is ‘Boxing Day’. What is more important is that in Switzerland it’s another holiday (holy day). We were always a bit shocked to see all the shops open to the zillions of post Christmas shoppers in France, England and me thinks, in Canada too. So, shops are mostly closed (with a few ‘catholic’ cantons over here) for 2 days which is – so it seems – a hardship for many. This year, heaven forbid, it’s even 3 days with all shops closed AND all the ‘usual’ Sunday-Shopping days falling under the lockdown! I’m sure the country will be covered with starved citizens… 😉 🙂
    Wishing you and your beloved ones a very good, restful day and may peace reign for a while, before the usual craziness restarts!

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    • Thanks for that information … I had never heard of Stefanstag!!! I love learning the traditions of other countries! Here, the day after Christmas is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, as people return the Christmas gifts they received!

      Heh heh … yes, even stores closing on the day of Christmas seems to send some people into a tailspin, doesn’t it?

      I hope you had a great holiday and that you’re now resting up from all the festivities!

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      • There’s no rest for the wicked…. Tks to C19 we had to change every plan conceived and altered, again and again. So yesterday for instance we had, in the morning, a one-by-one recording for a virtual choir performance in January, a quick (and funny) lunch, picking up a gift from my sis’ place and bringing it (and ours, and much more) to my mum at her Old Folk’s Residence where we were allowed a 30’ spot with her across a large table with plexi separators and masks etc. (our first face-to-face since months), and finally we continued to visit a widow-friend for a slap-up meal and 4hrs of talk, bringing her up to date with her smartphone ‘control’ (or not) and right now (Sunday Morning 8am) we’re leaving to pick up HH’s mother to spend the day with us, first church, then meal, then music, then bringing her back to her home…. and so it goes on! Must dash…. 🙂

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        • My goodness, Kiki! I’m worn out just reading about your activities! You have more energy than I have, for sure. And now, my curiosity is piqued by your ‘quick and funny’ lunch … is there a story here? Take care and try to find some time to relax somewhere in your busy schedule!

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          • funny as in: I exchanged with a friend the following:
            They got the rest of a largeish smoked ham I made on Christmas day (you don’t want to know all the stuff I made to go with it but a good meal was planned for MORE than the two of us!) and we got their left-over handmade ravioli stuffed with their personally collected chanterelles. So, we both, them with 2 kids and good old HH and myself had a nice surprise-lunch and were happy with it!
            And you know, Jill, (almost) everything I do, I do because I want to do it, give some joy, make someone happy – the happiness is usually returned doubly to my own heart. 🙂

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            • Wonderful!!! As long as you enjoyed what you did, that’s really all that matters, isn’t it? Like you, if I can help someone else, make them happy, or relieve them of a burden, then the happiness is returned to me in spades. Have a happy week, my friend!

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  5. Probably most people who don’t own a hunter ( beautiful horse ) or have no money, will follow the other Boxing Day tradition of a good healthy walk. As a pony loving child I loved the idea of galloping across the countryside, leaping over fences. That was only in my pony story books where children did actually get blooded on their first kill. In real life I would no doubt have fallen off at the first fence and would be praying for the fox to escape.

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    • I, too, loved horses as a child. A friend owned a horse and so I was privileged to be able to ride quite often, and yes I fell off many times! But I could never participate in the wanton killing of an animal for sport. I would let the fox escape, claim he just disappeared into thin air!

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  6. Thanks for the thorough explanation of Boxing Day, Jill. I also hate fox hunting. It seems that the law isn’t really strictly enforced. It’s probably become politicized as the wealthy seem to be the ones interested the most in it. I’ve always understood it began on wealthy estates. All of the “blood” sports are outmoded. —- Suzanne

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    • I agree with you about the fox hunting, but then I hate any killing of animals, any sort of hunting. It was one thing back in the day when people needed to kill animals for food, though even then I wonder what makes a human life more valuable than, say, that of a deer or rabbit? But to kill for sport seems a horrible thing to me.

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    • We had a lovely Christmas, Michael, and now I’m happy that it’s over and I can rest a bit, for all the wrapping, cooking, cleaning, etc., has exhausted me! I’m a creature of routine and will be happy to get back to my routine! I hope your holidays were lovely and that you had some time with friends and family!

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