Friday, December 26, 2008

Boxing Day in Scotland

Every year for the past four years I have travelled to Scotland for Christmas and New Year. But, there was another day added to my celebration list. Boxing Day? I also celebrated Boxing Day in Scotland on the 26th of December. Actually, Boxing Day was more fun than Christmas and New Year. To me, it was when families came together and celebrated the day after Christmas. It was wonderful to meet up with so many of my "brother", Tommy's family in Scotland. Today, I received a traditional Boxing Day call from Scotland. There was a queue of family members waiting to speak to me on the telephone. I was in tears. I miss Scotland in the winter. So, what is boxing day? Add my meaning and you will have a complete idea of what Boxing Day is. I actually celebrated Boxing Day today by helping a friend out and giving a gift to someone who is in need.

What is Boxing Day?

Boxing Day is a day the higher classes gave gifts to the lower classes. Before or on December 25th people of similar class would exchange gifts to celebrate the Christmas season. Gifts were not exchanged with the lower class until the next day called Boxing Day. It is also known as St. Stephen’s Day.

Why is the holiday named Boxing Day?

The holiday is named Boxing Day because the tradition of giving gifts of cash, food, clothing and other goods to the less fortunate were placed into boxes for easier transportation. The goods were distributed based on the family needs and their services to the giver.

Who celebrates Boxing Day?

Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Britain, and other Commonwealth Countries celebrate Boxing Day on December 26th.

Purpose of Teaching the Origin and History of Boxing Day

Boxing Day officially began in England in the middle of the 19 century under the rule of Queen Victoria. However, many adults and children do not know the true meaning of Boxing Day and its reasons for celebrating. It was a day to thank the community for all their effort throughout the years. The maids, drivers and other service workers were thanked with gifts of food, money, clothing, and other goods. It is important to teach students how they can contribute to society and to understand not all families are able to provide for their families all of the time.

As well, the discussion on the origin and history of Boxing Day can open dialogue about less fortunate individuals in the community and how the students can make a difference. Students may do a viable proposal on how their class or a group of students can provide a service or gift to other families or students in the community who are less fortunate.

Lastly, Americans do not celebrate Boxing Day but the slaves were given their goods on December 26th for the Masters to show their appreciation. Most slaves were given a few days off to celebrate the holiday season with their families. This is a great discussion on how the season of Christmas brought all class levels together and for a quick moment. Students could write a report on how they would feel celebrating Christmas with their Masters and why Masters even bothered to share the holiday season with their slaves.

Allow the dialogue on Boxing Day open other discussions on students feeling singled out or less fortunate than other students in the school or community.

Til next time...