If you enjoy reading historical novels set in Great Britain you might have come across a holiday called, “Boxing Day.”
You could ask a dozen people and probably get a dozen slightly different answers when it comes to the meaning of “boxing” and how it relates to this holiday. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with pugilism, so you can rule that out. And it doesn’t have anything to do with putting your unwanted Christmas presents back in their boxes and returning them the day after Christmas.
But before we go through all the things Boxing Day isn’t let’s look at a couple of facts everyone can agree on.
First, Boxing Day has its roots in the much older Feast of St. Stephen or St. Stephen’s Day. The Christian holiday can fall on either the 26th or 27th of December, depending on the denomination one observed.
Second, most people would agree Boxing Day involves the giving of some type of Christmas Box. But to whom? And from whom?
There are some pretty compelling arguments that Boxing Day originated as a way for the upper classes to compensate their servants or employees or tradesmen. The name, Boxing Day, didn’t appear in The Oxford Dictionary until the 1830s, where it was defined as a day on which employees, tradesmen, and public servants such as postmen, receive a “Christmas Box.”
It is unlikely an employer would want to do without servants on Christmas Day or during the busy, hectic period leading up to Christmas. But on the 26th of December an employer might not only give their servants a day of rest, they could also send them home to their families with a box of leftover food or other holiday delicacies.
In addition to the “boxes-for-services” theory above, there are also historical references to “alms boxes” that were put in churches during Advent season for the collection of money which church officials would then distribute to the poor and needy.
In modern times Boxing Day has been separated from its Christian origins on the British calendar, which still celebrates the day but now as a secular Bank Holiday.
Whatever you call it–the Feast of St. Stephen, Boxing Day, or Bank Holiday–it’s still a day off work!
He could be her ruin . . .
Hugh Redvers is supposed to be dead. So the appearance of the sun-bronzed giant with the piratical black eye patch is deeply disturbing to Lady Daphne Davenport. And her instant attraction to the notorious privateer is not only wildly inappropriate for a proper widow but potentially disastrous. Because he is also the man Daphne has secretly cheated of title, lands, and fortune.
She could be his salvation . . .
Daphne Redvers’ distant, untouchable beauty and eminently touchable body are hard enough to resist. But the prim, almost severe, way she looks at him suggests this might be the one woman who can make him forget all the others. His only challenge? Unearthing the enemy who threatens her life and uncovering the secrets in her cool blue eyes.
About the Author
Minerva Spencer was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She has lived in Canada, the US, Europe, Africa, and Mexico. After receiving her M.A. in Latin American History from The University of Houston she taught American History for five years before going to law school. She was a prosecutor and labor lawyer before purchasing a bed and breakfast in Taos, NM, where she lives with her husband and dozens of rescue animals. Visit her online at www.minervaspencer.com or on the social media platforms below.