Boxing Day. It's on our American calendars as a Canadian holiday. While people in Canada and England know what Boxing Day is all about, we here in the U.S. speculate about what it is.
"It's a national boxing tournament."
"It's the day people box up all of their Christmas decorations."
"It's the day people go through all of their storage boxes to see what they have."
"It's the day people box up old clothes and stuff to donate to a charity organization." BINGO!
Boxing Day originated in the mid-nineteenth century under Queen Victoria. It originated as a holiday for members of the merchant class to give boxes containing food and fruit, clothing, and/or money to trades people and servants. The gifts were an expression of gratitude similar to the bonuses many employers offer their employees today. These gifts, usually given in boxes, gave the holiday it's name, "Boxing Day." Also related to the origin of Boxing Day is the tradition of opening the alms boxes placed in churches over the Christmas season. The contents of these boxes were distributed among the poor by the clergy on the day after Christmas, the feast of St. Stephen. (http://www.calendar-updates.com/info/holidays/canada/boxing.aspx)
Related to Boxing Day, the carol "Good King Wenceslas" is about a king who goes out on the feast of St. Stephen to give alms to the poor. During the journey, his page is about to give up the struggle against the cold weather, but is enabled to continue by the heat miraculously emanating from the king's footprints in the snow. This legend is based on the life of the historical Saint Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia (907-935). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_King_Wenceslas)