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    • Join Date: May 2006
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    #1

    Boxing day

    Hi,
    AFAIK, itís an public holiday in Britain and everybody gives presents. To who? Christmas presents must have been given on Christmas Eve; there are not so many people who have servants nowadays.
    I wish Brits and Americans would tell us how they spend the day so that we get first-hand information.


    Thanks in advance.

  1. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Boxing day

    Boxing Day is not a holiday in the US. Americans usually spend December 26 racing from store to store in search of "after Christmas" sales. (You can find boxes of Christmas cards marked 75% off!)

  2. Harry Smith's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Boxing day

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    Boxing Day is not a holiday in the US. Americans usually spend December 26 racing from store to store in search of "after Christmas" sales. (You can find boxes of Christmas cards marked 75% off!)
    How different American and British people are!


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #4

    Re: Boxing day

    Quote Originally Posted by Humble View Post
    Hi,
    AFAIK, itís an public holiday in Britain and everybody gives presents. To who? Christmas presents must have been given on Christmas Eve; there are not so many people who have servants nowadays.
    I wish Brits and Americans would tell us how they spend the day so that we get first-hand information.


    Thanks in advance.

    Boxing Day was the day on which anyone who did a service (postmen, milkmen, delivery boys, refuse collectors - otherwise known as dustmen, jobbing gardeners etc) would receive an annual monetary gratuity. They would turn up at the door with a box for the money to be put into.

    In England, presents were given on Christmas Day; in Scotland Christmas was not a recognized festival - New Year was their great winter festival -nowadays they spread their celebrations across the two.

    Boxing Day became a Bank Holiday (a day on which the banks did not open) so shops also remained closed. In some parts it was the day on which people went home, or went to the Pantomime or other theatrical event. That has now all changed, and shops often open for their first day of winter sales.


    • Join Date: May 2006
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    #5

    Re: Boxing day

    Harry,
    Iím afraid your remark is inappropriate Ė anybody would hunt for such bargains. It has nothing to do with nationality.

  3. Harry Smith's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Boxing day

    Quote Originally Posted by Humble View Post
    Harry,
    Iím afraid your remark is inappropriate Ė anybody would hunt for such bargains. It has nothing to do with nationality.
    I compared only their ways of life, that's all. Not a single word was said about nationality. Anyway I'm taking your advice. You've probably suffered from it once. Thanks.

  4. queenbu's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Boxing day

    In Italy it's a public holiday for a totally different reason!
    See:http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/saints04.htm

  5. BobK's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Boxing day

    Quote Originally Posted by queenbu View Post
    In Italy it's a public holiday for a totally different reason!
    See:http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/saints04.htm
    Not just in Italy, I think. It's just that we've forgotten!

    There is an English carol (? - the story's about a Bohemian monarch, so maybe the idea was translated) :

    'Good King Wenceslas looked out
    On the Feast of Stephen.'

    b

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    • Join Date: Feb 2006
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    #9

    Re: Boxing day

    Although the practice of giving Christmas boxes to mail carriers and so on was at one time common, the name "Boxing Day", I believe, actually predates that custom.

    It may be that household staff were, on that day, given their Christmas boxes by their masters, but whether that was the origin of "Boxing Day" is unclear.

    It may go back to an even older tradition. Throughout the year, churches collected money in boxes; these boxes were opened on St Stephen's Day and the money distributed to the poor of the parish.

    Incidentally, for as long as I can remember there have been Boxing Day sales in Britain. In the past it was only the big DIY ("home improvement" if you're American) and furniture stores that opened. I'm not sure how they managed to get around the legal obstacles, but TV adverts ending with the phrase "Sale starts Boxing Day" were, even in my youth, a part of Christmas.

    The British, like the Americans, still open their Christmas presents on 25th December.

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    #10

    Re: Boxing day

    I believe Boxing Day is still commonly known as St Stephen's Day in Ireland.

    In England, Boxing Day is also a big day for sporting events Ė chiefly football, but also horse-racing, e.g. the King George VI Chase.

    Fox-hunting is another activity associated with Boxing Day.

    MrP

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