In Britain, the day after Christmas is known as Boxing Day. Every December 26 I wonder what in the world that means — and I never find out for sure. Maybe someone can tell me, Victoria, what it is. Definitively!
Here’s what Wikipedia says: “The exact etymology of the term “boxing day” is unclear. There are several competing theories, none of which is definitive.” This comes after they have already defined Boxing Day as a time when servants get their gifts.
So I turned to Snopes — which says the claim that Boxing Day means it is time to get rid of Christmas boxes is false… so where besides Nordstrom’s do stores have boxes any more?
Snopes goes on: “The holiday’s roots can be traced to Britain, where Boxing Day is also known as St. Stephen’s Day. Reduced to the simplest essence, its origins are found in a long-ago practice of giving cash or durable goods to those of the lower classes. Gifts among equals were exchanged on or before Christmas Day, but beneficences to those less fortunate were bestowed the day after. And that’s about as much as anyone can definitively say about its origin because once you step beyond that point, it’s straight into the quagmire of debated claims and dueling folklorists.”