Boxing Day last year:
Today in England, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and other former British commonwealth countries, they are celebrating a legal holiday known as BOXING DAY! It’s also known as St. Stephan’s Day because churches opened their collection boxes to the poor. The holiday developed because servants were required to work on Christmas day, but took the following day off. As servants prepared to leave to visit their families, their employers would present them with gift boxes.
During my second year of nursing school our professor gave us a quiz. I breezed through the questions until I read the last one: “What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?” Surely this was a joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Before the class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our grade. “Absolutely,” the professor said. “In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello.” I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy. – JoAnn C. Jones, Guideposts, January 1996
In the Middle Ages, members of the merchant class would take boxes and fill them with food and fruits to give to servants, tradespeople and the less fortunate. Servants worked on Christmas Day, so the day after Christmas they would be given a day off to celebrate.
Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness. – Seneca
Today Boxing Day is celebrated by filling boxes with food and clothing for the needy and doing volunteer work. Monetary donations to various organized charities are also common.
If Christmas falls on a Friday or Saturday, Boxing Day is celebrated the next Monday.
We are told in the Bible that the poor will always be with us.
For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. – Mark 14:7
Sometimes people use this verse as an excuse to withhold charitable contributions because they argue that it will do no good – the poor will be with us always. I think the actual point Christ was making was that He would not always be amongst man on earth in human form. Yes, the poor will be here, just as the rich people will be here. Whether we are rich or poor, we have choices to make. We as individuals will be held accountable for the choices we make. It all comes down to what we believe is the right thing to do and what we are taught is the right thing to do.
God smiles on His children who share.
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:7
We give in secret. Give quietly and shhh… don’t tell.
That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. – Matthew 6:4
While I believe alms refers to the tithes and offerings given to the church, the same application should be made to charitable giving. Here in the U.S.A. we don’t celebrate Boxing Day, but we still need to keep in mind that not every family had a Merry Christmas! We (and I’m pointing to myself too) need to try to find those who are struggling and help them if we possibly can. Wouldn’t it be a great idea to make Boxing Day a day of giving to those less fortunate?
I give because it’s the only concrete way I have of saying that I’m glad to be alive and that I can earn my daily bread doing what I love. Giving… puts our focus back where it belongs – on the lives we lead, the families we raise, the communities which nurture us. – Stephen King
People have all sorts of motives for giving (tax breaks, bragging rights, getting on someone’s good side), but remember God knows the heart and the motive. I have a personal belief that once you are praised by people or receive any payment or compensation, you lose your reward from God. Humility has to be a key element of real giving – be humble and quiet. God knows and His reward is sufficient for your life and His blessings will sustain you. He gives the best rewards, doesn’t He? To my friends celebrating Boxing Day – have a wonderful day! 🙂
I like the idea that God has a box packed with everything I will ever need – don’t you?
It’s not too late to order your copy of Lucinda Berry Hill’s new devotional book! Everybody needs a new devotional book to begin this new year, right?
Click on the link below to get your copy!