Y’know how your wall calendar tells you when there will be a full moon each month? And how it marks more recognized holidays than you can count on your fingers and toes? December might just have the best of the best. This month, there’s Hanukkah, Christmas, a crazy lunar ascension, the best eve of the year (get ready for poppin’ corks!) and Boxing Day.
That last one has always been a little puzzling. Do you put all of your presents back in the boxes they came in? Does it refer to crazy brawls between feuding siblings? Are we talking bare knuckles or gloves? Luckily for your bro or sis, you don’t have to worry about knocking out teeth in the ring that you DIY in the living room. While its history is shaky, to say the least, the traditions celebrated on December 26 throughout the commonwealth are ones you might just want to include during your holiday too. Follow these five steps and consider Boxing Day your extended Christmas afternoon.
1. Be charitable.
How Boxing Day received its appellation is definitely up for debate, according to Time magazine. One potential inspiration was a practice popularized by the Anglican church. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, charitable church goers would contribute spare shillings and pounds to, you guessed it, a box. The church would then distribute the accumulated wealth to those without a pence to their name.
1. Pantone Storage Box ($22): Regardless of your religious affiliation, you can still help those less fortunate than you. Start storing pennies, dimes and spare dollar bills in a Pantone tin throughout the year. Come December 26, donate all those dollars to the charity of your choice.
2. Coin Bank ($49): If Pantone’s selection of colors doesn’t float your boat, go for a sweet Frenchie coin bank you’ll want to dispense coins into.
3. Classic Docking Station ($30): If you’re shaking your head at something as silly as using cash, set up a docking station on your desk. Every time you plant your iPhone, squirrel away a cent or two to a savings account.
4. “But First…” Mug ($22): If you wanna go real hard core, donate the 10 cents you save each time you use this “But first coffee” mug instead of a disposable one at Starbucks.
2. Do something for others.
A big ol’ box of cash seems like a pretty legit origin story, but you could call Boxing Day a more dynamic character thanks to another charitable tradition. Back in the day, wealthy homeowners would prepare — you guessed it again — a box of small gifts to the servants they employed, in order to show their appreciation for a year of work. Whether you’ve got a pad in your name or you’re livin’ that #renterslyfe, you can still give a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to the people that make your day-to-day easier.
5. Honeycomb Candy Coal ($10): You can’t go wrong with a sweet treat. Pick something allergen free for the grounds keeper that keeps your apartment landscaping en flique.
6. Sea Salt Caramels ($8): Got a barista that not only knows your name when you walk in, but also spells it right every time? Boxing Day wouldn’t be complete without giving that caffeine guru a token to show your appreciation.
7. Cookie Kit ($27): If you’re already strapped for cash, we understand that spending some of your hard-earned dough on a gift for the mail carrier is a bit of a tall order. You could always whip up a baker’s dozen instead.
3. Get foxy.
In Britain, the day after Christmas has long been known as a day to don a hunting jacket and some sweet riding boots and start brandishing a riding crop. You might not be able to swing a leg over your Appaloosa and release the hounds, but you can definitely take part in the spirit of the fox hunt.
8. Fox Phone Case ($30): No need to hunt down a real fox this Boxing Day. Just snap on this foxy phone case to pay homage to the British tradition. Even better, you can enjoy its cuteness long after December 26 ends.
9. Spikeball ($56): The thrill of the hunt is as much about chasing prey as it is inhaling crisp December air. If you live in a place where it only gets a little chilly, head out with your squad or fam and play a game of Spikeball, which is basically like volleyball, only without the net or rules.
10. Meadow Mat ($39): If you need an outdoor option a little less intense than an all-out snowball battle, go for a little picnic. Bundle up, pack this waterproof mat and make sure everyone’s thermos brims with spiked hot cocoa or eggnog. Your bums will stay dry and you’ll get to bring a liquid sweater ;)
4. Find the best bargain.
During the 1980s in the United Kingdom and Canada, Boxing Day blew up into a shopping holiday, like Black Friday. The sales stateside might not be as wild, but you can still take advantage of reduced prices, especially on Christmas items.
11. Polka Dot Carryall Tote ($52): A day of shopping means you’ll be asked over and over, “do you need a bag for this?” It’s about to be 2016, so do Mother Nature a solid and be prepared with your own. This gilded tote will look way better with your shopping getup than any store bag.
12. Dee Dot Fanny Pack ($34): Don’t waste a single shopping spree second digging past all of your previous purchases to find your wallet or lip gloss; keep all the essentials handy in a matching fanny pack. This updated throwback will totally give off cool-girl vibes.
13. 3D Printed Camera Ornament ($15): Don’t forget about all of that holiday gear that just had its prices slashed! Some things never go out of style, like this 3D-printed ornament. Fifty years from now, it’ll be a relic from the good ol’ days when 3D printers were still in their infancy. How cool will that be?
14. LED Wire String Lights ($7): Now’s the time to take advantage of cheap prices. Score Christmas lights now so you don’t get sticker shock come next December. These battery-powered string lights are as timeless as they are affordable.
5. Feast on leftovers.
This one’s kinda obvs, but that doesn’t mean you should relish it any less. Break open all of those freshly sealed tupperwares and tear through that pristine layer of cling wrap, ’cause it’s leftovers time! Don’t want to eat the same thing twice? Learn from Thanksgiving mistakes and keep experimenting. Suggestion numero uno? Use that stuffing as the bread crumbs on some mac ‘n’ cheese. You won’t be sorry!
15. Tin Dessert Stand ($20): Spruce up last night’s Christmas pie with a gorgeous tin platter. No one will be sorry that half of the goods have already been eaten.
16. Polka Dot Cocktail Glasses ($56): If last night’s dessert is really looking rough, break it down and layer it with other tasty treats, like ice cream or pudding in your own homemade trifle. Make sure to use stylish glassware like these gold-spotted cocktail glasses, so that every layer is discernible from the outside.
17. Super-Duty Apron ($25): No need to get too messy when you’re cooking leftovers, but just in case, don a super apron for some extra protection. This one might just give you super powers in the kitchen too.
18. Polka Dot Recipe Tin ($34): If your Christmas menu stays static from year to year, take note of what works and what doesn’t for the next holiday season. Store all of your leftover hacks in a cute recipe tin.
What are some of your favorite Boxing Day traditions? Tell us all about it on Twitter @BritandCo!