Every year on December 26th, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and other Commonwealth countries celebrate Boxing Day. This annual custom began in the United Kingdom in the 19th century under Queen Victoria.
It’s not certain why the day after Christmas in these countries is called Boxing Day. Some say it’s because in Britain a Christmas present is called a Christmas box. On the day after Christmas, servants received a Christmas box from their master. Others say the holiday refers to using a box to collect money for the poor. These boxes were placed inside churches on Christmas Day and then opened the next day.
South Africa renamed the holiday to Day of Goodwill in 1994. The day also is known by Catholics as St. Stephen’s Day. Ireland celebrates Boxing Day along with the Day of the Wren. Also, December 26th is considered Second Christmas in Germany, Poland, Netherlands, and Scandinavia.
HOW TO OBSERVE #BoxingDay
In countries observing the holiday, government buildings are closed. Some businesses are closed as well. However, Boxing Day has become a popular day to exchange gifts or buy merchandise at reduced prices. Because it’s a holiday, many stores close early on this day. For those who aren’t out shopping, they are spending the day with family and friends. It’s a great day to eat the leftovers from Christmas dinner.
Others are more adventurous and take part by wearing a fancy dress and jumping into the North Sea. There are other traditional Boxing Day Dips held throughout the world to raise money for charity.
Participate in the holiday in several ways:
- Give to charity
- Attend sporting events or watch on television
- Leave a larger than normal gratuity
- Provide a special gift for employees
- Save by shopping Boxing Day Sales
Use #BoxingDay to post on social media.
BOXING DAY HISTORY
Since 1871, Boxing Day has been an official holiday in England, Wales, Ireland, and Canada.
There are various explanations regarding the holiday’s origins. Some people point to the song “Good King Wenceslas” as the source of spirit, if not the day itself. According to the song, the 10th-century Duke looked out on his land on St. Stephen’s Day (which is celebrated on December 26) and observed a poor peasant. He ordered food, wine, and wood for fuel to be taken to the peasant and called for all Christian men to bless the poor in the same way.
In the Church of England, it was traditional during Advent for churches to display a donation box. After Christmas, the contents of the box were distributed among the poor.
Among the aristocrats, it was traditional to give boxed gifts to their servants and employees.
Most of the events taking place during the modern Boxing Day have little to do with the charity in the stories mentioned. Popular festivities include eating leftovers, soccer games, visiting, and drinking.
NATIONAL WHINERS DAY
As the year starts to wind down, National Whiners Day on December 26th allows an opportunity to complain about just roughly anything. If you want, you are allowed to whine about being too tired, or overeating. Maybe you want to whine about having to go back to work or all the cleaning up you have to do. Are the lines long in the return aisle at the store? You can whine about that, too. The possibilities are endless.
However, the essential part of the day to remember two things:
- No whining about what you did not get for Christmas or do not have
- And remember what you do have
Many people are less fortunate than others. Some are struggling to put food on the table or a roof over their heads. Others have no family or friends. Families without a single gift under the tree may simply be thankful to have each other. Others may be fighting disease and illnesses, and some may have coped with all of these. You may want to whine about something (and today you are allowed) but remember to be thankful for each gift you did receive and all that you do have. (And help others when you can).
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalWhinersDay
Whine about the dishes, the snow or the laundry. But just for the day. Then pick yourself up and carry on. Tackle each problem, one by one. Use #NationalWhinersDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL WHINERS DAY HISTORY
Rev. Kevin Zaborney created National Whiners Day in 1986 in hopes of encouraging people to be thankful for what they have instead of being unhappy “whining” about what they do not have.
NATIONAL THANK YOU NOTE DAY
National Thank You Note Day on December 26th recognized the time-honored tradition of thanking people for their gifts, hospitality and generosity. It is a day to get some note cards, paper, pen, envelopes, and stamps to write those special thank yous.
Taking the time to thank family and friends with a personalized message has special meaning. The receiver of the “thank you” will enjoy getting the card in the mail and the message you have written.
Personal messages also convey to friends and family a deeper, more intimate sentiment. These handwritten notes, however brief, carry a tactile expression of thanks that verbal communication often lacks.
Never underestimate the power of “THANK YOU!”
HOW TO OBSERVE #ThankYouNoteDay
Writing a thank you has become a bit of lost art. We have provided a few tips to help along the way.
Begin your thank you by acknowledging the specific gift and how thoughtful it is. If the gift was delivered, then assure the sender it arrived safely and how much you enjoy it.
If the giver presented the gift personally, mention something you remember from your visit. Then thank them for the perfect gift they took the time to bring by describing it and how ideal it is for you.
Close your thank you by gushing about how kind the giver was for remembering you!
Within a few lines, you will have the knack of writing thank you cards. Share your tips using #NationalThankYouNoteDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL THANK YOU NOTE DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar will send a personal thank you note to the founder of this correspondence day when we hear from them.
NATIONAL CANDY CANE DAY
National Candy Cane Day on December 26th gives candy lovers a day to celebrate the red and white striped candies found abundantly during the holidays.
In 1844, a recipe for a straight peppermint candy stick, which was white with colored stripes, was published. However, some stories tell of all-white candy sticks in much earlier times. Folklore tells of the origin of the candy cane, yet no documented proof of its real beginning. Literature begins mentioning the candy cane in 1866, and it was first known to be mentioned in connection with Christmas in 1874. As early as 1882, candy canes have been hung on Christmas trees.
Fun Candy Cane Facts:
- The average candy cane is 5 inches tall.
- While most candy canes are not sugar or calorie-free, they do not have any fat or cholesterol.
- Striped red and white candy canes were first introduced in 1900.
- The first machine to make candy canes were invented in 1921 by Brasher O. Westerfield. Until then, they were made by hand.
- Bob McCormack and his brother-in-law & priest Gregory Keller brought the candy cane to the masses. What started out as candy making for McCormack’s friends and family turned into mass production when Keller invented the machine that enabled Bobs Candies to go big time.
- Traditionally the flavor for candy canes is peppermint, but there are a variety of flavors.
- Alain Roby, Geneva pastry chef, holds the Guinness World Record for the longest candy cane, measuring 51 feet long.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalCandyCaneDay
Do you have candy cane traditions? Enjoy one from your stocking or pluck one from the tree. Share a candy cane with your sweetheart, neighbor or child in your life. However you celebrate, be sure use #NationalCandyCaneDay when posting on social media.
NATIONAL CANDY CANE DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar continues to enjoy our candy canes while researching the elusive origins of its first celebration.
Recipe of the Day
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total Prep: 22 minutes
2 large egg yolks
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups whole milk, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Whisk egg yolks in a medium bowl until light yellow and they increase in volume. Whisk in cornstarch and 1 cup of milk. When the mixture is smooth, set aside.
In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, cocoa, salt, remaining 1 cup of milk just to a simmer over medium-high heat while whisking.
Remove from the heat.
Add small amounts of the cocoa mixture to the egg mixture while whisking constantly.
Once both mixtures have been combined, pour back into the saucepan and heat over medium-high while whisking constantly.
Bring to a full boil.
Reduce to a simmer and continue to whisk until the pudding thickens.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, allowing it to come into complete contact with the pudding’s surface.
Chill for one to two hours.
About National Day Calendar
National Day Calendar® is the authoritative source for fun, unusual and unique National Days! Since our humble beginnings on National Popcorn Day in 2013, we now track nearly 1,500 National Days, National Weeks and National Months. In addition, our research team continues to uncover the origins of existing National Days as well as discover new, exciting days for everyone to celebrate.
There’s a celebration for everyone. While National Road Trip Day satisfies the itch to wander, many pet days let us share our love of animals. National 3-D Day and National Astronaut Day honor the advancement of technology, too. Every food day you can imagine (National Avocado Day, for example), will keep you celebrating, also!
Our Ambassador Program is another way #CelebrateEveryDay®! Whether you become an ambassador or follow one of the savvy ambassadors, their fun videos and posts will keep you prepared for every holiday.