Boxing Day

Today is Boxing Day, which is typically the day after Christmas.

I’m embarrassed to admit I thought Boxing Day had something to do with the sport, you know, gloves on, sparing in a boxing ring. I never looked further to find out what it truly is. Okay, so today is a perfect day to correct my misconception.

Boxing Day began in Britain in the 1700’s. It was the day where employers would present to service workers “boxes” containing money and other gifts in recognition of their service throughout the year. Today, Boxing Day, which is not a holiday celebrated in the U.S., typically has little to do with the charity from employers to employees and now, instead, popular festivities include eating leftovers, soccer games, visiting, and drinking.

The theory of giving

Here in the U.S., the concept of giving is finished once the presents are exchanged on Christmas Eve or morning. In fact, this day for us historically is all about hitting the stores to return unwanted or ill-fitting gifts and/or shopping for bargains on the items not scooped up before the Christmas holiday.

Giving on the 26th transitions into returning and buying for ourselves. Perhaps out jostling for parking in the malls and shouldering other bargain shoppers is what you’re doing right now instead of being here online. Perhaps you are online but you’re shopping for bargains and/or printing out return labels for those gifts that didn’t land with the anticipated enthusiasm.

Perhaps a new tradition?

Today might be an excellent day to begin a new tradition of what I call ‘getting rid of the old to make way for the new.’ I look through my stuff, from clothes to kitchen utensils and from books and magazines to what’s clogging my one jam packed file drawer. I look to see what I haven’t touched in more than a year and therefore can let go or get rid of. I take my time and make a fun day out of it, trying on old clothes to remember why I haven’t worn them or to reminisce about that recipe for white chocolate cake with crushed candy cane decorations that was super complicated to make and way out of my healthy eating plan anyway. (What would I ever do with an entire cake in my apartment anyway, regardless of its seasonality or deliciousness?)

Of course, I’m never going to go through everything that needs culling, so I pick the one area I know I can handle in one day. For me it’s usually clothing, and I usually find one or two items of apparel that still have tags on them. I know they’d work nicely for someone else, so I put them in the ‘donate’ pile.

Box it all up to benefit another.

I bet there is at least one small area of your home that would use a good boxing it up day. This day is a win for you in that it makes room and most likely a win for someone else who could put your item(s) to better use.

On the one hand, your boxed up items could be a gift to someone other unknown person and also a gift of space in your own life.

So, box it up on this boxing day, and make more room in your life for other gifts.