While many of us participated in some sort of shopping escapade in the jam-packed malls and almost vicious parking lots, perhaps we who follow an “alternative” calendar would do well to add “Boxing Day” as part of the celebration of Christmas.  Instead of December 26th being a “shopping-frenzy holiday”, perhaps we could participate in a generous giving…

What is Boxing Day?

“There seems to be two theories on the origin of Boxing Day and why it is celebrated. The first is that centuries ago, on the day after Christmas, members of the merchant class would give boxes containing food and fruit, clothing, and/or money to trades people and servants. The gifts were an expression of gratitude much like when people receive bonuses, from their employer, for a job well done, today. These gifts, given in boxes, gave the holiday it’s name, “Boxing Day”.

The second thought is that Boxing Day comes from the tradition of opening the alms boxes placed in churches over the Advent season. The contents thereof which were distributed amongst the poor, by the clergy, the day after Christmas”

Some practical ideas:

Operation Christmas Child – brings hope and joy to children across the world with gift-filled shoeboxes

Shoebox Ministry – collecting and distributing personal hygiene kits to the homeless in the Greater Phoenix area

Keep shoebox (or Kleenex box) for collecting all the spare change you have in your pockets or wallets during the Advent Season.  After Christmas, donate it to a charity of your choice.

After the Christmas season, box up all those extra toys, clothes, and stuff you don’t use anymore and take it to a Goodwill or local thrift store that benefits the community.

Brainstorm with your family, kids, friends and community and come up with some way to fill a box to bless someone else.  (Post them in the comments to share with us all!!)