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Boxing Match Over Boxing Day

Have you heard of or celebrated Boxing Day? There have been debates on the origins of this holiday. To picture an actual Match, on one side of the ring is a Secular tale and on the other side a Non=Secular tale. The consistent grounds, we will use as the boxing ring, are two facts. One, Boxing Day was rooted in Great Britain that gradually moved into its commonwealth countries; and two, the purpose was to support society's lower class. It is also believed that the beginning of Boxing Day was around 1833. The rest of the details are to be determined.

In The Secular Corner...

"A Christmas Carol" Charles Dickens

One theory is that Boxing Day originated from lords and aristocrats allowing their servants the day after Christmas off to spend with their families. Servants were required to work on Christmas and were unable to do their own celebration. As a way to show appreciation for the year of good service, lords of the manor and aristocrats would give Christmas boxes of gifts (usually their Christmas dinner leftovers or money) as a holiday bonus.

In the Non-Secular Corner...

St. Stephen

The other theory is that Boxing Day is also known as St. Stephen's Day. Saint Stephen was the first Christian martyr that was known for his acts of charity. During the advent season, churches would set out alms boxes for members to place donations into. Then on St. Stephen's Day, the clergy members would evenly disperse the donations to the poor. The feast day of St. Stephen is mostly recognized in Ireland who know St. Stephen as the patron saint of horses.

To this day, horses have a link to Boxing Day as the UK celebrates sporting events like horse racing and fox hunts*. Other sporting events that take place are soccer, rugby, and cricket. Those who are not sports fans also enjoy shopping and visiting friends. Like any other holiday, it goes to mention, because this year Boxing Day falls on a Sunday, the observance for Boxing Day will take place on Tuesday, December 28th.

Seeing the two contenders and the current methods of celebrating Boxing day, if you were to officiate this match, what corner would you believe to be the champion of Boxing Day?

*As a note- The Hunting Act 2004 banned hunting animals with dogs in England and Wales which essentially banned fox hunts. However, Northern Ireland still allows for hunting with dogs and does continue the traditional fox hunts on Boxing Day. The UK has a modern version of hunting where no dogs are used.

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