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Giving Gifts on Boxing Day

Did You Know?

Boxing Day is also observed as the feast day of the first Christian martyr, St. Stephen, who is the patron saint of horses. In honor of him, it's also a popular day for all types of sporting events.

Although Boxing Day isn't observed in the U.S., it's a popular holiday in Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. It falls the day after Christmas, Dec. 26. In the old days, alms for the poor were collected in wooden boxes as part of church observances. On the day after Christmas, the accumulated monies from these boxes were distributed to the needy. It was also the day service employees like maids were able to celebrate Christmas because they often worked on Dec. 25.

Over time, a tradition grew from the practice of awarding monetary gifts on this date, and today service and public workers are rewarded for their hard efforts on or around Boxing Day. That bonus for the mailman or charitable donation is in keeping with the spirit of the Boxing Day celebration. It demonstrates that kindness and generosity are both important.

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