By Rosie Moore
This will be my last article concerning Christmas, I promise. The day after Christmas, which is also known as Boxing Day, is a holiday celebrated in UK and some other nations. In some countries such as Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, and the Nordic countries, it is known as St. Stephen’s Day. December 26th is also known as “Second Christmas Day”
In Britain, it was a custom for tradespeople to collect “Christmas boxes” of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year. This custom is linked to an older English tradition: since they would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts, bonuses, and sometimes leftover food.
Sound familiar? Yes, I really like that idea and it’s actually carried over in this day and age. No, we don’t have servants per se but a lot of employers give bonuses and gifts. Although some employers don’t give the gift the employees were expecting. (Remember Clark in the movie, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”?)
Boxing Day is also known as St. Stephen’s Day. There are two famous Stephens in history. The first was a very early follower of Jesus and was the first Christian martyr who was stoned to death by Jews who hated Jesus. The second St. Stephen was a missionary in Sweden. He loved all animals, especially horses. He was also a martyr and was killed by pagans. There is a tradition that horses would be ridden around the inside of the church on Boxing Day.
There are only a few days left of the old year. Think about your New Year’s resolutions in the remaining days. We all have good intentions in keeping these resolutions but many of us fail in the attempt. Perhaps this will be the year we will adhere to them and become better persons. Let’s make 2017 a Happy New Year!
Thought for the day: Of all sad words of tongue or pen the saddest of these; it might have been. Alfred Lord Tennyson
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