Boxing day—celebrated in England and English Commonwealth countries—is not too-widely observed but it does have a long and interesting history. It is celebrated on 26 December and began during the Middle Ages, on the day when churches would open their alms boxes and distribute the money to the poor. In later years, it became the day when tradesmen would visit their accounts and receive a “box”—gifts from the families they served. Additionally, the servants in English households were given the day off on Boxing Day—having served their families the previous day, Christmas.
In the traditional Christmas carol, Good King Wenceslas, the good king goes out on Boxing Day—which is the Feast of Stephen—to deliver food to a poor family. Saint Stephen was a Ninth Century missionary who preached (and, eventually, was martyred) in Sweden. He loved animals, especially horses; in Germany, Saint Stephen’s feast is celebrated by parading horses through churches.
The Arts & Crafts box, shown above, is crafted of oak and finished with Gothic Revival strapwork. It would make a terrific desk, bedside or jewelry box—or a prop for a recreation of Good King Wenceslas’s trip (on the Feast of Stephen). Please click on the photo to learn more about it.
Holiday Week Hours—26 December through 3 January—Noon ’til 6:00 pm.