The Origins Of Boxing Day As Told By “Love Actually”

America doesn’t celebrate it but countries around the world get a day off. So what exactly makes December 26th so special?

1. There are three theories of what brought about this wonderful day.

2. Theory 1: Good King Wenceslas

content.time.com / Via YouTube

According to Time Magazine the best clue to Boxing Day’s origins can be found in the song “Good King Wenceslas”. According to this traditional English Christmas carol, Wenceslas, who was Duke of Bohemia in the early 10th century was surveying his land on December 26th, also known as St. Stephen’s Day.

He saw a poor man gathering wood in the middle of a snowstorm. Deeply moved, the King gathered up surplus food and wine and carried them through the blizzard to the peasant’s door. The alms-giving tradition has always been closely associated with the Christmas season but King Wenceslas’ good deed came the day after Christmas. I guess the season of giving should not be for just one day then!

3. Theory 2: The Church Of England

The Church of England may have started off boxing day. During Advent, Anglican parishes displayed a box into which churchgoers put their monetary donations. On the day after Christmas the boxes were broken open and their contents distributed among the poor, thus giving rise to the term Boxing Day. Maybe. Seems very Oprah Winfrey-like. You get some money, you get some money, EVERYONE GETS SOME MONEEEEEEY!

4. Theory 3: Aristocracy and Servants

There’s another possibility! The day after Christmas was also the traditional day on which the aristocracy distributed presents (boxes) to servants and employees- a sort of institutionalized Christmas-bonus party. The servants returned home, opened their boxes and had a second Christmas on what became known as Boxing Day! Very Downtown Abbey!

5. So, who gets Boxing Day off?

The holiday is observed in the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other Commonwealth nations.

6. So why is this one extra day off so amazing?

7. You don’t have to leave your nice warm bed.

8. The weather outside may be frightful, but nothing is forcing you to go out!

9. You don’t have to go into work with a post-Christmas hangover.

10. Napping is interrupted only by the consumption of chocolate.

11. You can still dance around to Christmas music. It’s not too late for that!

12. Though you should try not to rub it in your American friends’ faces.

13. Eating left over Christmas dinner could possibly be the best thing ever.

14. But it’s just so exciting to watch disgusting amounts of Netflix.

15. Shopping online for all the specials makes your day even better!

16. You don’t even have to change out of your PJ’s!

17. You try to forget that you have to go to work the following day.

18. So for now you’ll just enjoy spending time at home annoying your family members.

19. Or spending time in with your significant other.

20. The next morning you try to pump yourself up to go back to work…

21. …but you can’t seem to force yourself to be productive.

22. You’re exhausted and you’ve accomplished nothing.

23. But then you realize it’s the weekend again!

24. So on behalf of everyone getting a day off work, I’d just like to say: Boxing Day…

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