A brief history of Boxing Day

Dec 21, 2019 | 7 comments

The UK’s tradition of giving small gifts and leftover food to servants, squires and bicycle messengers on day the after Christmas is celebrated across the Commonwealth to commemorate the Boxer Rebellion. The tradition is often attributed to Roger Ring, Sir Loin of Mutton, who proposed modest gifting as an orderly method to dispose of excess wrapping paper and to disperse the gaggles of hungover nowhere men camped along Downton Abbey Road.

The tradition grew when  Lord Keys, the Duke of Ellington, become Prime Rib Minister and had a very public beef with arch-rival Sir Isaac Fig Newton, the Earl of Sandwich. To settle the dispute, the British Parliament Funkadelic unanimously ordered both men to donate their handbags and gladrags to the Spare the Rod Stewart Foundation.

The generally unreliable Ickypedia reports that a short-lived tradition of giving stale lager to street cleaners was popular during the brief Hundred Years War in response the Norman Mailer Conquest.  Modest gifting eventually replaced the famous grouse over wasting good spirits when the Bourbon kings discovered that lowland single malts killed Scotch Tape worms. These events were immortalized in the little-known documentary, “Glen Campbell Fêtes the Bens and Fens of Glentendon.”

Sadly, Sir Thomas Less-is-More was executed for insisting that Boxing Day started in American Utopia when Proud Mary, Queen of Scottsdale betrayed Victoria’s Secret and was deported to the Isle of Wight Trash. Mary’s trusted lady in waiting, a pretender named Chrissie of Hynde famously reversed a royal decree for the (by then)  Cross-Eyed Mary to go back on the chain gain. (Unfortunately, the only evidence to support this popular fiction is a rude tavern song attributed to contemporary troubadour named Boy George Orwell.)

Equally unlikely is that modest gifts and displays of gratitude toward the servant class replaced the traditional post-Yule fisticuffs known as “boxing” after a squadron of King Lear jets sunk the Spanish Armada during the Second Opium War, one of many unsuccessful wars on drugs.

The Commonwealth tradition of trickling wealth on commoners flourished until the empire was forced to hold a Scotland yard sale after Eric the Idle unleashed a 45-episode python on a BBC backlot. A few years later, Robert the Bruce of Springsteen defeated the British invasion to which Lord Narwhal, Prince of Whales sneered, “Let them eat fish and Chips Ahoy.” History repeated again when Robert the Plant and Jimmy the Page used Magma Carta to set fire to a metallic zeppelin. Dazed and confused, both men were banished to Kashmir and sentenced to the gallows pole.

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The full truth may be lost to history, but on the hard day’s night before Boxing Day the faithful still attend Churchill to hear Charlie the Chaplin proclaim “Clapton is God” before releasing a flock of Yardbirds onto the Peter Green. Britons of all classes and persuasions then toast kippers with a traditional feast of head bangers and mash before exchanging Baggins full of fermented Marmite and Boris Johnson & Johnson hair products.

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