Friday, December 26, 2014

Happy Boxing Day

And now for some Canadian content...

In Canada, the UK, and many other Commonwealth countries, Boxing Day, December 26, is a traditional and statutory holiday.

Boxing Day dates back to feudal Britain. After slaving away all Christmas day, servants were allowed to box up the leftovers and take them home to their families. Benevolent families might take baskets of food to their tenants and gift their servants money and day off.

With the Industrial Revolution, charitable groups distributed food and clothing to the destitute and working poor. The growth of the middle class put a different spin on the holiday. Where Christmas was for staying in with friends and family, Boxing Day was the opportunity go out and visit friends and family (important when you didn't have an estate to house all your relations). With the rise of consumerism, Boxing Day also became the time to return gifts and pay bills.

Boxing Day traditions came to Canada with English immigrants. Why didn't take in the American colonies? It probably did in the south. The Puritan influenced north probably didn't approve. With the American Revolution, English traditions fell out of favor, including Christmas.  In 1789, the first year under the American Constitution, Congress met on December 25. It wasn't until 1870 that Christmas was made a national holiday.

Meanwhile, back in Canada, Christmas and Boxing Day have an unbroken tradition since 1641.

And now for some Historical Western Romance content...

6 Romance Novels


Melodie Campbell said...

Nice bit of history! Thank you.

Alison E. Bruce said...

Thanks for dropping by on a holiday, Mel. :)

Caroline Clemmons said...

Thanks for the heads up on your bargains, Alison. Happy New Year to you.