In Great Britain, December 26th is celebrated as a holiday and called Boxing Day. It is now an official “bank holiday” and, like the day after Christmas in the US, is a big shopping day. It is also traditionally a day for fox hunts as in riding to the hounds. While former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Labour Party may have banned fox hunting in the UK, it is still practiced in theory.
Investigating the origins of Boxing Day I came across a couple of potential explanations.
First, in England, Anglican Churches traditionally put out a box during Advent in which they collect donations of money (or alms) which are given to the poor on the day after Christmas. From an explanation in Time Magazine:
On the day after Christmas, the boxes were broken open and their contents distributed among the poor, thus giving rise to the term Boxing Day.
A second explanation was that the lords and ladies of the manor would give boxes of Christmas leftovers to the peasants who worked on their estates. From an explanation by Woodlands Junior School in Kent:
Many poorly paid workers were required to work on Christmas Day and took the following day off to visit their families. As they prepared to leave, their employers would present them with Christmas boxes.
During the late 18th century, Lords and Ladies of the manor would “box up” their leftover food, or sometimes gifts and distribute them the day after Christmas to tenants who lived and worked on their lands.
Given that the country formerly known as Great Britain has been transformed into Sarah Brady’s gun-free paradise by edict of Parliament – which as we all know leaves guns in the hands of only the government and the criminals – I have a modest proposal for an alternative Boxing Day tradition.
Gun buybacks are a favorite pastime of anti-gun politicians and their sycophantic big city police chiefs. These gun buybacks are feel-good exercises which have no impact on crime in the inner city much like the British Parliament’s gun edicts have had no impact on violent crime in the UK. Why not transform them into a new “alms/arms for the poor” program whereby unwanted firearms are collected and distributed to the good people of the UK (or the inner city). Thus, when Nigel, Trevor, and Ali decide that Mr. and Mrs. Smythe’s row house is ripe for a home invasion, they are welcomed with something more than just harsh words when they burst into the front parlor.
There is precedent for this. Prior to our entry into WWII, there were collections of firearms to be sent to the people of Great Britain for the Home Guard in the dark days after Dunkirk. The NRA alone sent over 7,000 rifles to England and the American Committee for the Defense of British Homes sent another 25,000 rifles along with 2 million rounds of ammunition.
Unfortunately, while this would make a great (new) tradition, the governments of both the US and the UK would oppose it with great force and ferocity. The US government because they want to be the only gunrunners in town and the UK government because they have long ago lost their spine. More’s the pity.