What The Fuck Is Boxing Day?


It has nothing to do with punching those who have grinched you this year, and it’s not a shitty episodic romcom sequel to “Valentine’s Day,” starring a patchwork of red carpet fixtures of debatable talent. So what is it?

Americans may think of “Boxing Day” as an obscure notation followed by (UK) that appeared in the December 26th page of their Far Side daily calendars (or Successories daily calendars, depending on how paralyzingly uncool they are), but the holiday actually has a long and confusing tradition and no clear origin. The consensus seems to be that the holiday was originally a day that rich people gave their servants and underlings their Christmas gifts. I guess rich people like to put everything in boxes, even oddly shaped kitchen utensils and adorable red bow wearing puppies.

(I wonder if anyone ever gave their servants a pair of boxing gloves on Boxing Day. That would be pretty intense.)

While rich people nowadays have abandoned the tradition of giving poor people gifts on the day after Christmas in favor of laughing at poor people and pushing them into slushy snowbanks, the name “Boxing Day” still stands.

I’m spending Boxing Day 2010 with you, dear readers, and for the first (and probably only) time ever, today’s Jezebel content is coming to you from from Frederic, Wisconsin (We have like three bars and several Lutheran church options. It’s a northwoods party and vacation paradise). Later, I’ll be spending it with the hopefully punctual staff of the airplane that will bring me back from the frozen permfrost of Minnesconsin to the semi-permafrost of Chicago.

In the meantime, commenters: how do you choose to celebrate December 26th? Do you celebrate Kwanzaa? Go shopping? Make snow angels? Lay around in a food coma? Communicate with internet strangers from a supine position?

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