If you are spending Christmas time in either Cape Town or Oxford, you will be faced with quite a few approaching holidays. Both schools are taking a little break now and you will also have free time. You may come from a country that does not celebrate Christmas, however I’m sure you’ve heard of it. The next holiday after the 25th of December is called Boxing Day. Now what is this day all about? I will be honest that I am in my thirties and can tell you I didn’t really know until now.
Firstly, the holiday was created in the United Kingdom, where you might be finding yourself, and it spread throughout the Commonwealth Nations (South Africa being one of them). According to Wikipedia the earliest explanation comes from the Oxford English Dictionary in the 1830’s, which stated that it is “the first week-day after Christmas-day, observed as a holiday on which post-men, errand-boys, and servants of various kinds expect to receive a Christmas-box”.
Even today the idea of creating a Christmas box for someone is still alive and kicking. You may decide to fill a box with various little gifts for a specific person. A lot of people also use this day to share their time with those less fortunate. You may decide that because you had such a day of abundance on the 25th that a good way of showing gratitude is to give back to the community.
In the modern day and age, Boxing Day has also turned into a big day for shopping. Boxing Day sales are popular, especially in the United Kingdom and the United States of America. People will rush out in hordes to take advantage of the incredible savings available on this day. Don’t be surprised if you see people queuing outside shops before they open and that there seems to be a slight feeling of frenzy in the air among consumers. Shops often have to implement crowd control measures to ensure shopper’s safety and security, not unlike Black Friday.
As you can see, Boxing Day can have completely opposite meanings to folks across the world. You can choose which you would like to join, or if you are in Cape Town, rather head to the beach and chill out, which is where you will find me!