There are many tales of the origin of Boxing Day; on Christmas the Aristocracy exchanged gifts and the following day was the day to tip or gift to laborers. Laborers would show up and collect boxes. A version, that we prefer is during Victorian times the Aristocracy had fabulous meals and parties and their servants worked all day and were not able to be with their families. So the day after Christmas became the servants holiday. As the servants left the house, the owner of the Manor House would give each servant a box to take home. The box had food, gifts and maybe a bonus. I can just imagine the anticipation of the family waiting by the fireplace in a stone cottage to open the box and see what it contained.
We would our Boxing Day by going on long hikes through the English countryside, playing board games, reading a Christmas story, maybe watch a classic Christmas movie, have friends in for a drink and then have a special dinner of Christmas Goose! And of course a special box for each of us to open at the table... what fun! what memories!
Even though we returned to the United States in October, we will be celebrating Christmas and Boxing Day along with many of our adopted English Traditions.
Maybe you'd love to adopt Boxing Day for your family and the spirit of Christmas for at least one more day.
We just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary at the Biltmore Hotel in Asheville, North Carolina. http://www.biltmore.com It is on an 8,000 acre site and features the 179,000 square foot house built in the late 19th century. There are 33 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms and 65 fireplaces!
As we strolled the halls and rooms we were lead to downstairs servant quarters and kitchen where you could almost hear the clanking of pots and pans and smell the fragrances of the Christmas feast. It brought to life the Christmas' of the Vanderbilt family and their servants.
Wherever you are and where you go this Christmas, we hope you enjoy family, friends and food. May your traditions bring memories and joy.
Jackie and I wish all of you a glorious and blessed Christmas and hopefully, a special new tradition of a Boxing Day.
Jackie and Beth