27 Dec 2020


Years ago when I heard the word "Boxing Day" for the first time, and then in the context of Christmas, I couldn't understand what that meant. 

At that time no computer and no Google only my dictionary which indicated "Boxing, a sport bla bla bla ...." so I stayed with the idea that people would box each other for the presents that day and already saw the packages flying through the air. As my Grandma used to say "Different people, different customs". 

When my son lived in London we spent Christmas for the first time in his house. We had invited another friend and celebrated the German way as Prince Albert the husband of Queen Victoria also did with their children, that meant we unwrapped our gifts on Christmas Eve. And then we talked about our program for the next days and I heard the word "Boxing Day" ! Now I had the opportunity to know why the heck the people would box each other on the second Christmas day !

Our English friend then explained to me exactly why there is a Boxing Day and we all had to laugh that I had lived so long in the belief that the English used to box on Boxing Day.





Elephant's Child said...

I suspect every culture/language has common phrases which are a mystery to others. English is an expert on that front though.
My German father explained the origin of Boxing Day when I was young - or I would have been confused too.

Andrew said...

I can understand your confusion. You recently mentioned Father Christmas v Santa Claus. I grew up with Father Christmas and somewhere along the way, it changed to mostly Santa. I tested out four and six year old great nieces yesterday and they did know Father Christmas even though they use Santa.

Fun60 said...

I think there are many people here who do not know the origin of 'Boxing Day'. There was an interesting radio explanation of it yesterday. I was surprised that it came from the Victorian era I thought it was an earlier custom when sevants would traditionally receive a boxed present on the day after Christmas day. It was also the day for giving boxes of food to the poor.

Mara said...

When I first worked in England, I was asked whether there would be Christmas crackers present at the Christmas dinner. I had heard of cheese crackers and such, but didn't know there was also something called Christmas crackers. It took my boss a long time to explain (she had to finish laughing first). Other languages can certainly be confusing.

Loree said...

Boxing Day is a rather confusing name. I had a German penfriend when I was a teenager and I remember clearly that they would exchange gifts on Christmas Eve.

peppylady (Dora) said...

What I learn boxing day is when the masters of big estate would serve there staff.
But I then I wonder how well it worked. Could you image the royal family in kitchen.
Coffee is on and stay safe

Penelope Notes said...

Haha … the English language and colloquialisms can definitely challenge common sense from time to time. It is a bit surprising that there is no link between a gift box/container and the sport of boxing.

Tamago said...

I learned about Boxing Day only after I started blogging. I think it's natural to imagine boxing fight when we hear it before knowing its meaning :-)