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Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by treeve, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    Some clippings from our very own newspapers.
    How many times I have tried to discover the real truth behind the term 'Christmas Box' and Boxing Day, and been fobbed off with the old chestnut of a gift to employees. Here is the truth of the matter.
    The Penzance Gazette 5th January 1842
    The Custom of Christmas Boxes arose with sailors. In the infancy of navigation, they nailed a box to the mast of the ship on going to sea, and at times of storm or danger, dropped a piece of money in the box, for prayers to be said for them, which collections, if they returned safe, they presented to the church. These gifts received at the time of the nativity at the entrance of the chapels and cathedrals, were called Christmas Boxes.

    I would prefer to accept the word of someone who lived through those times, rather than accept a retrospective theory.

    I also find in the Archaic Words Dictionary of 1850.
    Boxes for money carried by poor men at Christmas to solicit contributions, returned from Melton's Sixe Fold Politician in 1609. Boxing Day : The day after Christmas Day when tradespeople are visited by persons in the employment of their customers for small presents of money.
    Not the same thing as employees getting pressies from their bosses.

    Do you KNOW any different?

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