Wednesday, December 26, 2007

happy boxing day

Yes, this is an actual bank holiday--not just words on calendars.

While the exact origins of the holiday are obscure, it is likely that Boxing Day began in England during the Middle Ages.
Some historians say the holiday developed because servants were required to work on
Christmas Day, but took the following day off. As servants prepared to leave to visit their families, their employers would present them with gift boxes.

Church Alms Boxes
Another theory is that the boxes placed in churches where parishioners deposited coins for the poor were opened and the contents distributed on December 26, which is also the Feast of
St. Stephen.
As time went by, Boxing Day gift giving expanded to include those who had rendered a service during the previous year. This tradition survives today as people give presents to tradesmen, mail carriers, doormen, porters, and others who have helped them.

Whatever the origin, England shuts down for this holiday! Most everything was closed today and the roads were empty of drivers--but London was CROWDED with tourists!!

I will add some pictures of our day in London some time tomorrow-now I am ready to go to bed.