Today, in many parts of the Commonwealth, is Boxing Day. It’s a public holiday here in Canada … so I’m taking a day off.
Boxing Day has nothing to do with pugilism; its origins lie in Queen Victoria’s time when, on the day after Christmas, it was customary for those, like the Queen herself, who had servants to give each servant, and in the Queen’s case many of London’s poor, a gift box … usually a food item or some wine or fruit for children. The custom spread and the burgeoning Victorian middle class, even those without servants, began to give gift boxes to those in need. The custom died with the rise of the state.