Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Boxing Day

No, that isn't your cue to put on gloves and start fighting it out at the gift return desk. Boxing Day is a holiday in the United Kingdom, Canada and other Commonwealth nations.

Boxing Day is also known as the Feast of St. Stephen in honor of the Christian martyr. You can read more about him in Acts. This holiday was set up in the mid-19th century by Queen Victoria. It was typically a day for the merchant class to honor the trades people and servants in their lives. Some relate it to business owners giving bonuses to their workers. The gifts were usually food - especially fruit which was very expensive - and sometimes articles of clothing. They were given in boxes and hence the name "Boxing Day." Some also associate this day with the time when the church opens the alms boxes. The monies collected in the alms boxes were then distributed to the poor on the day after Christmas.

I always find it fascinating to learn about other cultures and history. I think it would do well for us here in America to remember the poor on Boxing Day. Rather than spend the day shopping for those post-Christmas sales and fighting the crowds to return that improperly sized gift, it might be fun to drop off a donation to the local Salvation Army or other organization that helps the poor. Yes, I know I talked about something similiar last week, but I've really been convicted of late that God has given us an abundance of blessings. So many people are suffering in this economy and while it has hit our family as well, I know that we are still more blessed than many.

I am so thankful this holiday season for the love of family and friends, for my granddaughter's slow - but steady recovery, for my healthy grandchildren, for having a roof over our heads and food on the table. I'm blessed beyond the curse and God's promise truly endures and He will continue to be my strength.

Jesus said that whatever we do to the least of these...we do to Him. So extend His birthday celebration and have a little Boxing Day fun!!


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