Now that I have a couple of nieces to lavish gifts upon, Christmas has regained some measure of fun that was absent in the years between my own childhood and now. Yes, I say “lavish” even though one of them is only five months old and did not get a thing from me. I want to wait until she’s old enough to remember how great I am before I turn on the charm. I think it’s only fair.
That aside, I do want to make sure, as a proper uncle, that I have my story straight where the holidays are concerned. I want to be a source of wisdom and guidance to my newest family members, and let’s face it, the provenance of some holidays is pretty murky.
Everyone knows that Jesus was born when an evergreen tree flew out of a levitating angel’s robes, but where did rabbits hide the eggs in His tomb on Easter? Great mysteries, these, to be sure, and rest assured that I am researching them vigorously. In the meantime, though, I want to start with something a little easier.
That’s why I’m beginning my remedial holiday education with Boxing Day.
I’ve searched high and low, or at least from the first Google result until the third or fourth, and I am happy to report that I have all the facts collected.
Boxing Day was established in the United Kingdom by the 1871 Bank Holiday Act. A group of bankers approached Parliament and suggested that they, the bankers, should have a day or four off now and again. Parliament agreed that even bankers couldn’t be bastards every day of the year, and so it was signed into law that St. Stephen’s day, as well as three other days throughout the year, would be banking holidays.
One junior banker then spoke up. “But what about when St. Stephen’s day falls on a Sunday?”
“Shit,” mused the rest of the bankers, “he’s right.” They turned as one on the junior banker, politely killed him, and then invented Boxing Day, which would magically move to the following Monday should Christmas be so uncharitable as to fall on a weekend.
Celebrating Boxing Day is easy. All you have to do is take a day off of charging any fees or collecting debts just as the bankers do, even though the they have computers to handle all that for them anyway and computers have no souls and never rest. Modern bankers spend their time having meetings with one another, concluding each gathering with a tender hug and some light nuzzling, although these advanced financial methods are not recommended for the novice.
Be careful, friends, and happy Boxing Day!