There is no definitive answer to that question, but there are a couple of hypotheses which seem the most likely.
The modern-day usage is largely 'a day to box-up and return gifts'.
The origin is most likely either:
a) Roman/early Christian. In this era, metal boxes, placed outside churches, were used to collect offerings which were associated with the 'Feast of Saint Stephen'.
b) Old English. In return for ensuring the smooth running of wealthy landowners' Christmases, servants were allowed to take the 26th as a holiday and employers gave each servant a box, which would normally contain gifts and bonuses - sometimes leftover food.
Why do they call it boxing day? After all purchases made I guess it is time to bring it all back or perhaps it is for the merchants to have a little price reduction and clear their stuff off the self. Still it is good for the consumer. Dont you just hate that? Lower prices and excellent deals. Still I never understood what the fight was about.
1 blog comments below
Bikerman on Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:37 pm