I love the tradition of Boxing Day wherein you fill a box and give it to your servants to help make their Christmas bright and also to show your appreciation for a year's work - kind of like the modern Christmas Bonus!
The idea originated, partially, because servants had to wait on their employers and their guests all day on Christmas Day -- cleaning, cooking, serving, receiving guests, taking coats, stabling the horses, etc. etc. etc.! So the grateful employers would fill a box, the following day, with all kinds of left-over goodies from cakes, pies, meats and treats ... and also old clothes that they no longer needed. The servants would then take these boxes back to their families and celebrate their Christmas on Boxing Day. That's only one variation of this very old tradition but it is a particularly nice and generous one. Other versions include people going door-to-door to homes of rich people on Boxing Day, carrying with them their own box, and gratefully receiving any bits and bobs that the households might no longer need and were happy to pass on to the less fortunate. Or sometimes, the wealthy would make a day of it and go about to the homes of those in need, or of their servants, and drop the goodies off themselves - remember Bob Cratchitt's turkey!
I received a nice big cardboard box this year from out-of-town relatives filled with lovely Christmas gifts. I was just about to recycle it when I decided that, while I don't have any servants, I'm going to fill the box with items around the house and take it to our local Salvation Army or Women's Shelter. And maybe I better also leave out a wee offering for those little fairy folk in my house and garden who perform a few important tasks around the Grove too!
Meadow Sweet Grove © V. Buchanan 2018
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