Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day

Today is December 26 and it is a holiday here in Canada... it is called Boxing Day. I first learned of this holiday when my family immigrated here over 20 years ago. I remember thinking, "What an odd name for a holiday!" I did some research and found out why it's called Boxing Day.

Do you know why it is called Boxing Day? Here are some of the explanations behind the name Boxing Day:
:: A ‘Christmas Box’ in Britain is a name for a Christmas present. Boxing Day was a day off for servants and when they received a ‘Christmas Box’ from the master. The servants would also go home to give ‘Christmas Boxes’ to their families.
:: A box to collect money for the poor was placed in Churches on Christmas Day then opened the next day.
:: Great sailing ships when setting sail would have a sealed box containing money on board for good luck. If the voyage were a success the box was given to a priest, opened at Christmas and the contents given to the poor.
As you can see, despite the different explanations, all of them revolves around charity... Boxing Day was all about giving to the poor and needy, to those who are less fortunate, to the marginalized in society. Sadly, it has evolved into something else... something quite the polar opposite of what it was originally meant to be. Today, when we hear the words Boxing Day, we think shopping... deals... bargains... more stuff for ME, self-indulgent ME! To my American blog readers, think Black Friday.

I must confess that I did go to the mall today... to buy marked down Christmas cards and gift-wrapping supplies. I also bought a few sweaters to replace some ready-to-retire ones. As my girl and I walked around the mall for a bit... we saw crowds and long lineups and people with multiple packages and kids parked on the floor eating ice cream while their parents shopped! Crazeeeeeeness!

What if, I thought... society returned to the true meaning of Boxing Day? I think the world would be a better place, wouldn't it? Just imagine...

A friend of mine posted "Just Imagine..." status updates on Facebook all throughout Advent. Here is one of them:
Imagine a day when everyone was a part of a caring community of people who loved each other.
Consider a day when everyone shared their stuff; in fact, no one believed anything was 'their stuff' but that it belonged to the whole community.
Imagine a time when no one felt the need to abuse the people in their community by taking advantage of people's kindness.
Imagine a time when everyone had someone to love and knew that someone loved them.
Just imagine!
Come Lord Jesus. Come quickly!!! It's almost Christmastime.
To read the whole series of Dion Oxford's "Just Imagine..." Advent posts, please click here.
Can you imagine a Boxing Day like that? In fact, not just on Boxing Day but peace on earth and goodwill toward all men throughout the whole year!
"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name." (Psalm 100:4 KJV)
I could bless God. 
Not take anything. Not ask anything, demand anything, petition anything. I could simply give to Him.
~ Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts.
As I ponder these thoughts, I continue my counting of grace-gifts, #1175 - #1187... for it is in the counting where the giving flows from... "let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me..."

:: Fun night for my boy with peeps from his youth group.
:: School's out!
:: Christmas baking!
:: Christmas photo shoot with my extended family.
:: Christmas Eve service.
:: Cooking, baking, cooking, baking!
:: Online Sunday teaching on Christmas Day... I ♥ technology!
:: Beautiful family time on Christmas morning.
:: My boy reading from Luke 2:1-20.
:: Each family member's birthday gift to Jesus!
:: Both kids opening presents from us!
:: Christmas lunch with hubby's extended family.
:: Boxing Day dinner with my family.

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Unwrapping more of His love in this world.
Act justly.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly with God!


  1. I am just starting on my 1000 gifts journey, and I love your post! I will be following you for inspiration :) Thanks for the uplifting post!

  2. Wow! This is great! It's funny because I was going to look up where Boxing Day came from yesterday, but it was a really rough day yesterday, so it didn't happen.
    As a child I thought Boxing Day was something to do with the sport of boxing :o).


  3. My family is from the West Indies and we celebrate both Christmas & Boxing Day.

    We traditionally got a decorative box with chocolate coins, nuts, candy, a small gift, money, or gift card with a note or Bible verse about giving.

    I didnt know the history as kids and immigrants we just thought YEAH an extra gift. Thanks