So, tomorrow is Boxing Day…was it named as the day to throw away the boxes and wrapping from Christmas Day’s celebrations?
Some say the day became special as early as Roman times in Britain when donations were received from the public to finance the local athletic games. The idea was picked up by religious practitioners and the proceeds were distributed to the poor the day after Christmas, remembering God giving His great gift of the LORD Jesus.
Others remember the Christmas carol, “Good King Wenceslas”, which tells of the Duke of 10th century Bohemia watching a peasant gathering wood on Saint Stephen’s Day (26th December). Feeling for the man, Wenceslas gathered surplus food, wine and firewood and took it to the man’s home. Maybe Wenceslas inspired the Anglican Church to make available donation boxes into which parishioners dropped donations prior to Christmas, which were then opened the next day and the proceeds distributed to the poor.
Still others suggest the day commenced in 17th century Great Britain when the wealthy distributed small boxes of fruit, sweets and nuts and even money to their servant staff in appreciation of their year’s work. The servants were given the 26th December to go home with their boxes and visit their families.
Today Boxing Day in Australia is more often associated with Test cricket, yacht racing, store sales and eating ‘left-overs’.
Holidays are important. The Bible tells us to rest one day in seven. Research reveals humans enjoy better health when they do as God said – take one day off in seven (Exodus 20:8-11). If you are taking the Christmas/New Year break, maybe you could spend time reading a good book (or your Bible), watching a favourite movie or sharing with friends, or simply spend time enjoying the garden in which God has placed you. And, Happy New Year.