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50% Off - Magic Words

50% Off – Magic Words

My first introduction to Boxing Day came way back in the ’80’s when our next-door neighbor at the time, invited us to their house the day after Christmas and told us to bring a gift we had previously received-more than likely one that was not well-received by us.  In other words that tasteless ashtray your Aunt gave you or the unwelcome set of beer mugs each with one of the Seven Dwarfs depicted.  We had such a great time, so many laughs….but then they told us the real idea behind Boxing Day and it went something like this.

The exact etymology of the term “boxing” is unclear. There are several competing theories, none of which is definitive.[1] The European tradition, which has long included giving money and other gifts to those who were needy and in service positions, has been dated to the Middle Ages, but the exact origin is unknown. It may come from a custom in the late Roman/early Christian era, wherein metal boxes placed outside churches were used to collect special offerings tied to the Feast of Saint Stephen,[2] which in the Western Church falls on the same day as Boxing Day.
In Britain, it was a custom for tradesmen to collect “Christmas boxes” of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year.[3] This is mentioned in Samuel Pepys’ diary entry for 19 December 1663.[4] This custom is linked to an older English tradition: Since they would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts and bonuses, and sometimes leftover food.  Source: Wikipedia

In the United States, somehow along the way, Boxing Day has taken on a double meaning.  It seems to be THE day to return BOXES – those presents which neither fit our taste or our bodies.  LONG lines of over-dressed and over-heated customers stand in line to endure the ordeal of returning unwanted or unwelcome items.

Secondly, Boxing Day is a day to rush to the stores and buy MORE items, those many things that are now deeply-discounted.  We are truly a nation of consumers!  As for me, as soon as I finish this blog I’m off to find next year’s Christmas cards, wrapping paper and anything else I somehow found out I can’t live without especially now that is marked 50% off!

What are you doing this Boxing Day?

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