December 25, 2009 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
Christmas in a Box, by Michael Johansson
‘Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring…because they were all out shopping. Although it has morphed in the US, as many holidays have, into a celebration of consumerism as retailers offer post-holiday discounts making it one of the biggest shopping days of the year, Boxing Day, also known as St. Stephen’s Day and Day of Goodwill, used to be about giving.
The primarily British holiday, which originated in England in the middle of the nineteenth century under Queen Victoria, is derived from the Anglo-Saxon tradition of giving seasonal gifts to less wealthy people and “social inferiors.” Until their distribution, these gifts were stored in a “Christmas box”, which was opened the day after Christmas, when the contents were distributed to the clergy and various workpeople such as laborers and servants.
You can carry on the tradition of giving to those less fortunate by visiting Charity Navigator.