What Is Boxing Day?

Growing  up in the United States, I never really knew what Boxing Day was, other than the day after Christmas, in which one wore off the exhaustion of overindulgence from the day before, or created more by shopping after-Christmas sales.

Since I married Ken, I’ve learned a bit more about Boxing Day, and come to appreciate it as a holiday on its own.

Boxing Day is primarily celebrated by countries in the Commonwealth, including Canada, Great Britain, and Australia. There are many explanations as to what exactly Boxing Day celebrates, but they all boil down to this: giving to those who are less fortunate. In contrast to the “getting” of Christmas day, everyone chooses belongings to give away. It’s a day to box up old clothes, books, household items, etc. and donate them to charitable organizations. (It’s also a great time to do so for tax purposes as well.) The consumeristic mindset that we all try to escape, with varying degrees of success, on Christmas day is purged on Boxing Day. In fact, where Ken grew up, stores continued to be closed on Boxing Day in honor of the holiday. (I actually think I like that!)

So, Ken and I celebrated Boxing Day today. We went through our closets, bookshelves, and basement and took a hefty load of donations to Goodwill this morning. It’s a great tradition that we plan on continuing with our Congolese kids too!

How do you celebrate Boxing Day?


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