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, a couple of years ago 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.  A couple of years ago, 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!!!


30 thoughts on “Happy Boxing Day!!!

  1. If you look at a New Zealand calendar, you’ll see that 26 December is indeed Boxing Day, but you’ll also see that 27 December is Christmas Day (observed). You’ll also see that New Year’s Day is observed on 3 January. A peculiarity of our calendar is that statutory holidays such as Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, and the Day after New Year are “Mondayised” if they fall on the weekend, But as Monday is already occupied by a statutory holiday (Boxing Day, and 2 January respectively), Christmas and New Year’s Day are moved to the next available day – Tuesday.

    There are only ever three working days between Christmas and New Year, so by taking these three days as leave, you effectively have 11 consecutive days of vacation – this year commencing on Saturday 24 December, returning to work on Wednesday 4 January. When I was employed, these wore the most sought after days of leave – perhaps fought over would be more accurate than sought after.

    On the other topic mentioned in the comments – hunting – I, like most Kiwis, have a different attitude. It’s a necessary evil. Mammals, including, but not limited to deer, goats, pigs, horses, tahr, rabbits, dogs, cats, possums, tars, mice, stoats, weasels, wallabies, hedgehogs, to name a few, have no place in these islands, and I have done my share in helping reduce their numbers. Official government policy is to have all these animals eradicated by 2050. I doubt if it’s achievable by that date, if at all, but it’s a goal I support. If some people get pleasure out of killing these threats to our flora and fauna, then that is a lesser of two evils – the other being allowing the extinction of our endemic species of birds, reptiles and invertebrates, not to mention plant species. Of all our native species, around 80% are endemic (found nowhere else)..

    Aotearoa New Zealand has the highest proportion of threatened indigenous species in the world. This includes 90% of all seabirds, 84% of reptiles, 76% of freshwater fish, 74% of terrestrial birds and 100% of terrestrial mammals – approximately 2800 species in total. Compare that to around 1200 species across the entire USA which, in area, is around 37 times larger than NZ.

    While 1.3 m (4 ft) earthworms, giant carnivorous snails, the world’s heaviest insect weighing more than a sparrow and 3 times more than a mouse may not appeal to some people, there are 11 species of penguin, 5 species of kiwi, the world’s only mountain parrot and reputedly the world’s most intelligent bird, amongst the “more cute” species that do appeal to people everywhere. Regardless of their cuteness, they all deserve to continue existing.

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    • Now that makes my head spin!!! Here, we have moved most holidays around such that if they fall on any other day, they are automatically observed on the next Monday, but not Christmas or New Year’s. Since Christmas was on a Sunday, Monday was the ‘extra’ day off for most, and the same will hold for New Year’s.

      I will have to respectfully disagree with your views on hunting, for it is my belief that all species have a right to life, and most other species were on this planet long before humans, so what right do we have to eradicate them. However, I respect you and thus I won’t beleaguer the point. We can just agree to disagree and leave it there.

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      • Oh I absutely agree that all species have a right to life. You’ll find we don’t disagree on that point.

        I love and cherish the life forms in Aotearoa New Zealand, most of which exists nowhere else, and I want my grandchildren’s children to be able to do so as well. That is not going to be possible unless every predator is removed from these shores. End of story.

        If you have a better solution than eradication of non-native species, then I’m all ears, but first and foremost it must guarantee not just the survival of our native species but their flourishing. Perhaps we can send you 100 million rats, 30 million possums and 20 million stoats just for starters.

        The mammals I listed were not here before humans. In fact it was humans that brought them here and they are exterminating indigenous species as an alarming rate. Humans were the first mammals to arrive here and that was less than 800 years ago. All life in Aotearoa New Zealand, both plant and animal evolved in the absence of mammalian predation and cannot evolve defences in a matter of centuries.

        Just one example: Kiwi are declining in numbers so fast that they will become extinct within my lifetime unless very drastic action is taken, and I’m 73 years old. Several species of Kiwi lay just one egg per year, and currently less than 5% of kiwi chicks hatched reach adulthood due to mammalian predation. You do the maths. A Kiwi pair must produce a chick every year for 40 years just to compensate for that predation alone, and even longer to compensate for other natural causes that existed before humans arrived. That would require hatching a chick every year for 70 to 80 years. Kiwi take 3 to 5 years to reach adulthood and can live for about 25 to 50 years.

        While i want to see those species I mentioned eradicated from these shores. I’m not advocating their eradication from where they have existed for thousands or millions of years. They absolutely have a right to be there. Just not in NZ.


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  2. Thank you for your good wishes. I have spent the day in front of the tv and it has been wonderful. Cricket this morning (from Australia), then a series of proper football matches, and some entertaining evening shows. I couldn’t go to the sales even if I wanted to, and have never been interested in the barbarism of hunting since I was about 6, when I watched the dogs of the local hunt rip a fox to shreds in the field at the bottom of our garden. I prefer to be traumatised by my football team rather than that!

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    • Sounds like a good day! The very thought of seeing the dogs rip a fox to pieces makes my heart break. I HATE hunting of any sort, and here there are too many who think that killing an animal and hanging its head in their den makes them a ‘man’. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. So, did your fútbol team win?

      Liked by 1 person

      • It was a quiet but enjoyable day!

        I really don’t understand the mentality of anyone who thinks that killing an animal is fun. At least here we don’t have the same mindset around guns so hunting has remained the territory of the privileged, who can always be relied on to show how out of touch they are with us plebs.

        I have three teams. Two played yesterday and both drew after being behind, which was kind of ok.

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  3. The US needs to institute a Boxing Day, when Congresspeople, fed and state, have to prove they are worth their pay, and if they don’t pass the test they get boxed in 10′ by 10” boxes made of cement, with one wall made of steel bars.

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  4. Christmas day usually for families with children so Boxing Day is when those families get to visit with other family members like grandparents, aunts uncles. cousins etc .and have a family party, It was my favourite day as a child as card games like Newmarket were played.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That makes much sense … the entire “holiday season” is exhausting for me these days, and I would say I’ll be glad to see it end with the onset of the new year, but for the fact that Chris will be out of town on business for the entire first week of January, which will make it a little bit darker than usual. At any rate, I know you’ve had a busy holiday with lots of family things going on, so I imagine you’re ready for a day or two of peace ‘n quiet.
      Cwtch Mawr


  5. Jill, ear worm time returning your unintended ear worm – please sing Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Boxer” even though he speaks of a fighter. “I am just a poor boy though my story’s seldom told….” Keith


    • Oh … OH OH OH … you just had to plant that one, didn’t you? Yes, I am singing it, or at least my version of it! I can’t believe I’ve never played this one here on Filosofa’s Word before, but … stay tuned. And thanks for the earworm … I love it when we exchange those!


  6. -blush- I’ve lived in Australia most of my life but I’ve never actually wondered why Boxing Day was, well, Boxing Day. When the Offspring was little, Boxing Day was the day we caught up with our closest family friends, usually for a picnic and shared leftovers. These days, Boxing Day is just the day after xmas unless we need something, in which case we try to find it at a bargain price. Online, not in person. Even before Covid the thought of fighting through that crush would have put me off.
    Hope you’ve had a nice recovery day. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • I think many ‘holidays’ have long since outlived their original intent. Some have become naught but shopping days, and others have become just a day to drink beer and party! I think Boxing Day has an especially fun history, though, so I do try to remember it every year. Like you, there is almost nothing so important that I would fight the shopping crowds on ANY day! Yes, it was a nice recovery day, but I’m still in a bit of a fog, still fairly exhausted. I need to get back into my routine, get my house back to normal, and maybe then I’ll be able to feel more … human!

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  7. Thanks Jill.
    Fun facts.
    1. Because Christmas Day was Sunday we get an extra public holiday, tomorrow Tuesday
    2. Because New Year’s Day is a public holiday and falls on Sunday – Monday will be a UK public holiday. Since 1974……but because Scotland has been having New Year’s Day as the public holiday for long-time back to ensure the Scots don’t feel cheated out of their special public holiday, they get an extra day….which this year will be Tuesday!!

    The grim seasonal event will be the annual clash between the Hunts and Hunt Saboteurs up and down the country; the latter tend to throw false trails and monitor abuses of the law; the former being ring-wing and determined to protect their ‘rights’ tend to attack if they think no one in the press or law is watching.

    Meanwhile we in this household celebrate the sports fixtures with groans as our soccer team Aston Villa, naturally lose. (They did – don’t ask).

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