Friday, December 19, 2014

Boxing Day (Recycled Post)

Link Here to Bloghop at DL Hammons

[I originally posted this during the A to Z Challenge in April 2013, but recently it has been getting some hits, so because people seem to be interested, here is a timely review of Boxing Day.]

December 26 is a national holiday known as Boxing Day in Australia, the UK, New Zealand, and Canada. Many people do not really understand the historical meaning of this holiday (kind-of like Christmas and Easter!), believing it to have arisen from the need to empty the house of empty gift boxes the day after Christmas. Rather, from what I can tell, December 25th was traditionally the date upon which people exchanged gifts with their equals – family and friends; while the 26th was a day for alms – when people gave gifts to those subservient to them, such as employees, servants, and the poor.

Honestly, I think Boxing Day has a more applicable meaning than our current translation of Christmas Day to the true spirit of Christmas. Christmas honors the historic moment when God became incarnate in human flesh, as the epitomic act of unearned favor, to live and die a human life in order to offer humanity true compassion and the gift of reconciliation with Him. As it plays out, though, Christmas is more often a time of exhaustion, overspending, and ungratefulness. (Don’t get me wrong – I actually really love the Christmas season!)

Wouldn’t it be better to honor God’s greatest gift…one which could not possibly ever be reciprocated…by giving with no strings attached to those less fortunate, as is the traditional habit on Boxing Day?

But then again…

During Easter I had a chance to partake of Communion. As I sat there holding my cup and cracker, I thought of how many people now and throughout the last two millennia have participated in this sacrament. I felt like God was saying to me, “Melody, you are a part of this. You’re included.” And really, isn’t that the whole point?

What did Jesus do for us? He changed our status. No longer do we receive our gifts on Boxing Day…no longer are we just the poor beggars down the street, mostly forgotten, but for this one time of the year…but we have been brought into the “in” group that exchanges its gifts on Christmas Day. Through Christ we have all been made equals. As Christ’s, we understand that each person is precious to Him, and all are invited to the same table of celebration.

I want to begin to recognize Boxing Day as an annual tradition, by volunteering in some service to my fellow humans. But more than that, I want to live each day in the attitude of Christmas – loving my neighbors as myself and, more importantly, as Christ.

“…For whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine [the hungry, the thirsty, the foreigner, the naked, the sick, the imprisoned], you did for Me” (--Jesus, in Matthew 25:40, NIV).
(When I went to save this picture to my files [found via Google images], I was going to call it simply “poor hands” but found it was already called “giving hands”. I think I like that better – giving hands, though often dirty, are beautiful, don’t you think?)

9 comments:

  1. I'm just familarizing myself with Boxing Day. I have to because I have family and friends in the UK who expect me to know what they're talking about.

    Loved the image of the hands. They've been used and I believe for good purpose.

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  2. Thanks for reminding all what this season is really about.

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  3. What a noble endeavor to celebrate Boxing Day and live every day in the spirit of Christmas! Bravo! Great re-post! And I learned something: I really didn't know much about Boxing Day so thanks for sharing all the great insight. And I love the image of the outstretched open hands: beautiful! Happy Déjà Vu.
    Michele at Angels Bark

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  4. Heart-warming post! Thank you for sharing it.

    I have no experience with boxing day, but it sounds like a great holiday! May you have a wonderful Christmas AND Boxing Day!

    Happy Deja Vu!

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  5. I wasn't really familiar with boxing day. Thanks for sharing about it.

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  6. Replies
    1. Thank you! I hope you had one, too. :)

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  7. It's funny because I have celebrated Boxing Day all my life (live in the UK) and my gran and her sisters all went into service for local people so knew about the history. But one of our sons has just emigrated to Eire and they don't call it Boxing Day they call it St Stephens Day :)

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