…. it is now!” That is the famous quote from Kenneth Wolstenholme’s BBC TV commentary in the closing moments of the 1966 FIFA World Cup Final, when we (England) beat West Germany 4–2 (after extra time) to win the match. Well, there was a big build up to Christmas and, in 24 hours, it’s all over. All those cards and presents, all the shopping, all the preparation and planning, and here we are…. on Boxing Day. Are we supposed to knock each other out on 26 December? If not, from where does the name originate?
Well apparently, the name ‘Boxing Day’ has nothing to do with pugilistic competition, nor is it a day for people to return unwanted Christmas presents. The exact origins of the holiday are a little ambiguous, but it is likely that Boxing Day began in England during the Middle Ages and it is one of very few Bank Holidays observed by banks, the post office and government offices.
Some historians say the holiday developed because servants were required to work on Christmas Day, but took the following day off. As servants prepared to leave to visit their families, their employers would present them with gift boxes. Another theory is that the boxes placed in churches where parishioners deposited coins for the poor were opened and the contents distributed on Boxing Day, which is also the Feast of St. Stephen. As time went by, Boxing Day gift giving expanded to include those who had provided a service during the previous working year and the tradition survives today as people give presents to tradesmen, postmen/women, milkmen (where they still exist).
What have you been doing today, Boxing Day? Do you have a family tradition – a festive walk or meal – or a local event which occurs every 26 December? My day was different and involved clearing some more jobs from the ‘to-do’ list which have been sat staring at me for some while. On the “Feel good factor” scale, things are look very healthy (and hence, high scoring) at the moment, with more tasks planned for the morning…. before departure to the north of FWL HQ.
Keep trucking…. it’ll soon be 2016! Happy Boxing Day!