So, what exactly is Boxing Day all about anyway? I mean, besides just another day off of work and an excuse for a big blow-out sale at The Brick. Living so close to Canada I've known of Boxing Day my whole life but I never knew what it was for or what it celebrated.
The only thing I ever really knew about it was (1) it was the holiday for the servants who had to work Christmas, and (2) there was a tradition of 'swapping places,' lords serving the servants, bosses following employees' orders, etc.
I first heard about it on MASH, when they opted to do the trading-places move for a holiday episode one year (with 11 years of a show based on a war that lasted 3, they had to find creative ways to milk the holidays!)
The childhood friend Exnihil never had.
#665983 - 12/28/0411:04 AMRe: I'm dreaming of a white Boxing Day
Never really knew the origin myself, but (according to this article) it is an upper/lower class thing as Kent explained.
"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. Which, by the way, is what we're about to muddy our boots with.
Although there is general agreement that the holiday is of British origin and it has to do with giving presents to the less fortunate, there is still dispute as to how the name came about or precisely what unequal relationship is being recognized."
Other origins that have been considered are outlined in the full article at: