Caroline's Boxing Day Traditions

From Christmas treats to traditions, celebrating the holidays in England is a magical time of year and full of memories that I have continued to honor through the years. If you’re British, Christmas doesn’t end on December 25th. The day after Christmas is known as Boxing Day and it’s a chance to relax, eat leftovers and extend the celebrations one more day. Growing up, my family and I enjoyed long, leisurely walks followed by sweets and an evening watching movies or playing board games. This week I'm sharing a little history on Boxing Day, and some ways I have continued to carry on the day's traditions.

Boxing Day is also known as St. Stephen's Day – Stephen was the first Christian martyr known for his charitable acts. It's believed that alms boxes were placed in churches for the collection of donations for those in need, and on December 26th, clergy members would give these funds to the poor in honor of the feast of St. Stephen.

Boxing Day

It's also believed that servants, tradespeople and the poor were presented with gifts or “Christmas boxes” on Boxing Day. Lords of the manor and aristocrats typically distributed these boxes filled with small gifts, money and leftovers from Christmas dinner to their household servants and employees, who were required to work on December 25th, in return for reliable service all year.

While the exact origin is unclear, Boxing Day began as a centuries-old day of gift giving that originated in Britain. Today it's known as a day of sporting events, including horse races, hunting and rugby. It has also become one of the biggest shopping days of the year. 

Boxing Day

Many Brits have turned this holiday into a day of rest by enjoying a long walk with friends and family followed by leftovers and games. Over at our Hudson Valley farmhouse, we're planning to spend Boxing Day doing pretty much the same.  The weather Upstate has been a winter wonderland and unusually frigid, so we're loading up the baskets with firewood. 

Caroline's Boxing Day Traditions

If you're looking to do some baking and enjoy fireside sweet treats, we made these delicious Mince Pies from Jamie Oliver's Christmas Cookbook (see last week's post), and my decadent Christmas rum truffles from last year.

Boxing Day Traditions

One of our favorite wintertime activities is playing card games. Since we don't have a TV, it's the simpler things that pass the time. Not only is it relaxing and fun, but it's something to do together. These Navigator and Voyager decks have a permanent spot on our coffee table. Our next project is tackling a puzzle! I'm not ambitious enough for the 1000 piece, so starting with the 500. And these Floor Cushions are perfect for game playing on the floor by your coffee table... if your four-legged friend doesn't get to them first. ;)

Caroline's Boxing Day Traditions

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas with loved ones, good food and cheer. May the holiday celebrations continue as we wrap up the final week of 2022. I have so much gratitude for you all. This year I celebrated 20 years of DIANI, a milestone that wouldn't have been possible without each of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Wishing you and your family good health, peace and happiness in the New Year!

Sending lots of love, 

Photos courtesy: Farmer's Almanac and History Extra

 

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