The Grip crew welcomes guest author Susanne Saville!
My holiday tradition subject involves Boxing Day. When I was little, I always wondered if it referred to boxing the sport or boxing as in doing up boxes and putting them away after Christmas. It turns out, Boxing Day has nothing to do with either.
Boxing Day is a British holiday (and thus also celebrated in Canada, Australia, etc.). It is the day after Christmas (although your day off from work could be a different day depending on when Christmas falls). In the Regency period, which is when my historical romance THE SECRET HUNTER is set, it was the day that you thanked the people who worked for you by giving them money or food or textiles. Like a Christmas Bonus. Say you're Mrs. Darcy, then you'd bring a hamper to each of your tenants' cottages on your estate.
No one really knows why it was called "boxing" day. One of the theories is that this was
traditionally the day the Poor Box was opened (the wooden box into which you would drop
coin donations in the church) and the contents were given out to the poor.
The website http://www.teach-history.org/html/story_goodwin_prt.html gives this as an
explanation for Boxing Day in 1770:
"Our tithes must be paid each month at the church. The money goes to support the church and the poor members of our Parish. Our mother let me put the coins in the box at the back of the church. There is an alms house on the edge of town. On the day after Christmas, Boxing Day, which is Saint Stephen's Day, the alms box will be broken open and the money will be given to the widows and orphans at the alms house. It makes me feel happy to know that we can help the less fortunate people in our community by paying our tithes at church."
As noted in this quote, Boxing Day is also Saint Stephen's Day. You know how Good King
Wenceslas looks out "on the Feast of Stephen"? Well, now you know that carol is set on Boxing Day. :)
- Susanne Saville
THE SECRET HUNTER
by Susanne Saville
available now from
Blurb: When Gwenllian Lloyd literally knocks dashing Daniel Wyckliff off his feet in Bath's Sydney Gardens, she is unaware intrigue looms before her. The year is 1804. England fears invasion from Napoleon's France. Gwenllian has just met the man of her dreams, but is he a man she can trust?
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