Some regard it as the “Second Day of Christmas”, a day of shopping, a day of sporting contests, a day where, no matter where you live in the world, you still get time off for another round of holidays. But what’s in the “Christmas-box” may leave you pleasantly surprised, and give you a new found appreciation for an occasion we often take for granted.
It goes all the way back to Medieval Europe: And even earlier, where the practice was to place Alms Boxes outside churches to collect donations for the poor.
It coincides with Saint Stephen’s Day: You may remember Saint Stephen as the first Christian martyr (stoned to death in 34AD). It is the second day of Christmastide in the Latin Church, and celebrated on December 27 in Eastern Orthodox Christianity.
It is not about boxing. Repeat: It is not about boxing.
It is a thing thanks to the British: It dates from the centuries long custom of the upper classes gifting the lower classes, or masters gifting their servants – giving them the day off after Christmas. In other words: a day of gratitude and charity for those who have served you.
It is a day of outdoor activity: Yes, after all the feasting and revelry of Christmas with family, it makes sense that you go outdoors for some sport and relief. Again, we can thank the British for that: from the 18th century noble’s day off for aristocratic pursuits like hunting, horseracing and shooting; to into 19th century urban worker’s focus on professional football.
It is a secular holiday of the British Commonwealth: In Nigeria, it is a holiday for students and workers.
With that out of the way, now you have more than a good reason to give a little more today than you did yesterday.