Trying out a new tradition

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, December 25, 2013



Today, Dec. 26, has special meaning in history. It’s Boxing Day. While the day is now known as a bank holiday, its origins are a little more basic. Dating back to the Middle Ages, Boxing Day was the day in which the wealthier people gave their servants and the needy gifts and money. The “box” in Boxing Day is thought to reference the Alms Box in churches in which donations for the needy were collected.

In this age, however, Boxing Day in Britain, Canada and some Australian states has taken on the shopping equivalent of our Black Friday, by which Christmas shopping is officially launched the day after Thanksgiving. It is a day of shopping frenzy mixed with bowl games of various sports.

Tuesday, the Daily News featured an article on Christmas giving and traditions regarding when Christmas gifts were opened — Christmas Eve vs. Christmas Day. In the spirit of traditions, perhaps it’s time to start a new one: for every new gift that comes into the house Christmas Day (or Eve, as the case may be), some other item is chosen to go out. Specifically, go out, as in donated: to Good Will, the Salvation Army, the Humane Society (for its annual yard sale), the 15th Street Church of God (which gives away free clothing to those in need) or any other like organization.

The tradition of Boxing Day started with giving. Why not take a look around and see what can be given to those less fortunate? Load those items up in the car, and take them to a place that serves those in need.

We’ve all got our old traditions, those time-honored events that make Christmas such a special time of year. But it’s never too late start new ones.