Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Catholic Activity: "Boxing" Day

    Supplies

  • boxes with savings and donations
  • Prep Time

  • N/A
  • Difficulty

  • Cost

  • $$ $ $
  • For Ages

  • 6+
  • Activity Types

    Linked Activities

    • None

    Files

    • None

    Linked Recipes

    • None

    Linked Prayers

    • None

    Feasts

    Seasons

A popular Christmas custom in Britain is "Boxing" on the feast of St. Stephen, December 26. Originating in medieval times, the priests would empty alms boxes in all churches on the day after Christmas and distribute the gifts to the poor. There is a similar tradition in Germany.

DIRECTIONS

In imitation of this Church practice, the workers, apprentices, and servants kept their own personal "boxes" made of earthenware in which they stored savings and donations throughout the year. At Christmas came the last and greatest flow of coins, collected from patrons, customers, and friends. Then, on the day after Christmas, the box was broken and the money counted. This custom was eventually called "boxing" (giving and accepting presents). Each present is "boxed", and the day of present-giving is "boxing day."

A similar custom prevailed in Holland and some parts of Germany. Children were taught to save their pennies in a pig-shaped earthenware box. This box was not to be opened until Christmas, and consequently was called the "feast pig." From this custom, we now have our piggy banks.

Activity Source: How to Make Your House a Home by Rev. Bernard Stokes, O.F.M., Family Life Bureau, Washington D.C., 1955

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Oh, that sort of misconduct [UPDATED] 17 hours ago
Don’t worry about terrorism; worry about workplace violence? 17 hours ago
Doing Great Things for Christ 19 hours ago
Two steps forward, one step back: mixed signals from Vatican on abuse and accountability September 26
The Annulment Question, and Much More September 26

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Cardinals criticize Kasper proposal, escalating debate on remarriage/Communion CWN - September 18
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - 6 hours ago