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Christmas Habits and Offerings



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Boxing day is a religious holiday in Great Britain. It is the day after Christmas. If I understand this celebration correctly, it follows Christmas. It is a second thought. It allows Christians time to honor those outside of their immediate families. Christmas day has been taken over with family dinner and gift giving and the day after belongs to those who also are getting gifts from their employees, etc. tBoxing Day! How interesting. This is not a holiday here in the United States, but, I celebrated it for years, and never knowing it. I celebrated it by always taking down the Christmas tree, boxing up the decorations, eating cold turkey and what else was left over. I was hasty to say the least.

It was a day of insight, too. Christmas was over and the 'magic' had disappeared and I knew that once again I had been taken. Those were the feelings when my children were small and I had bought too much because I could not stand the thought that they would not find their heart's desire under the tree.

My heart was in the right place but my mind would be somewhat displaced on these 'boxing' days. But, I grew up and learned the real meaning of Christmas and learned not to expect from myself the impossible.

Nowadays, with only myself the day after Christmas (I am at some other home on Christmas day), I no longer celebrate 'Boxing' day, not in the same way. It is so much more reasonable to enjoy the precious moments associated with it and to be thankful for the new birth of Christianity. January, to some extent, seems like boxing month to me. If I am off course spouting off about this new found knowledge and if, in my ignorance, I offend sensibilities, I am sorry. Thanks to whomever for introducing me to Boxing Day.

An update to this article (August, 17, 2008) I've not been happy with passing off this important Christmas celebrations as of small importance since I had scant knowledge of it when attempting to write about. I have even forgotten why I thought it was even important to write about something I knew little of - being an American and not a British subject - but since I did, I now think it is important to undo a little of my ignorance.

I asked Google for advice. There I found that Boxing Day was a day to honor their servants who had to work on Christmas. As the servants prepared to leave for holidays with their families their servants took boxes of Christmas Goodies home with them. I approve of that. That certainly makes sense. At least they were not forgotten. Supposedly it originated in the middle Ages and although there are many theories as to exactly how it began, boxes played a role in the celebration.

Some think it is the boxes in Church where worshippers dropped in coins for the poor people; others say it was to honor those who had been extra charitable during the previous years. Whatever, December, 26th is the feast day of Saint Stephen who was the first Martyr. He was stoned to death for refusing to go against the Teaching of his Savior. He was one of the original deacons of the Christian Church ordained by the Apostles to care of the helpless and the needy.

Boxing Day makes a lot of sense as it is observed today. It is the day to honor all those who have served us in some way, mail carriers, doormen, porters, and of course all servants. Since it is a British custom it is also celebrated in most areas settled by the British - Canada, Australia and New Zealand. (America is not included and that is understandable, America was settled by many countries.)

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