It’s Boxing Day 2017 for our friends to the north of us and for those across the pond.

Boxing Day is a holiday in the United Kingdom and many countries (including Canada) that were once part of the British Empire. The origin of this holiday’s name is not exactly clear. During feudal times in the United Kingdom, the lord of the manor would ‘pay’ people who worked on his land in the past year with boxes practical goods, such as agricultural tools, food and cloth. These were often distributed on the day after Christmas Day. More recently, employers traditionally gave their servants a gift of money or food in a small box on the day after Christmas Day. Some people in Canada still give gifts to people who provide them with services.
Other stories relate to servants being allowed to take a portion of the food left over from the Christmas celebrations in a box to their families and the distribution of alms from the church collection boxes to poor parishioners. These traditions evolved into the Christmas baskets that some employers distribute to their employees during the holiday season at the end of the year.
How will you be spending this day after Christmas? In retail, we head back to our regular business hours. In Germany, the day after Christmas is a public holiday reserved for relaxing. Lucky are those of you who get to stay home, put your feet up and take a break after all of the fast paced festivities of the season.

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