While the holidays end on Dec. 25 stateside, other countries extend the celebrations to the 26th, known as Boxing Day
However, in the United States of America, it means absolutely nothing. It is just the day after Christmas, when people are recovering from Christmas hangovers, driving home or simply enjoying continued family time.
However, in the Commonwealth countries of Great Britain and Canada, it is at the very least a bank holiday, and at most a day to hunt foxes.
As far as origins go, there are a couple popular theories on how it got started as a holiday.
One such origin stems from the Aristocracy of old, who’s servants worked hard on Christmas to provide service for the rich party goers.
While the rich party on Christmas, the servants work, so the day after Christmas is the day the servants get a day off and sometimes got a box of gifts.
As far as the religious aspect of the holiday goes, alms for the poor were collected in boxes.
This origin is documented in content.time.com “During Advent, Anglican parishes displayed a box into which churchgoers put their monetary donations. On the day after Christmas, the boxes were broken open and their contents distributed among the poor, thus giving rise to the term Boxing Day.”
However, neither of these trends have progressed to the modern day, with the majority of celebrations being completed by Christmas, and the day after spent doing not much else than eating leftovers and watching sporting events.
There are a few holdouts of old traditions, mostly involving foxhunts of old, but only the very wealthy participate.
Canada is a little bit different because they have the ice hockey equivalent of the American Football games on Christmas and Thanksgiving Days.
Another tradition celebrated in the U.K. and Canada similar to the USA, is the shopping frenzy that is reminiscent of Black Friday, with sales that have started creeping up earlier and earlier every year.
Between the extra day off, viewing of sporting events and rampant consumerism, it’s a mystery why the rest of the world hasn’t jumped on the Boxing Day Bandwagon.