Happy Boxing Day
We’re reposting this from last year and hope you enjoy it!
We hope you received everything you wanted for Christmas. Today is Boxing Day. The joke currently is it’s the day when you box everything up you don’t want and take it back to the store. In reality, Boxing Day is traditionally when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts from their superiors. It’s unknown when it first started, but there is evidence that dates it back to the middle ages. Since the servants would have to wait upon their masters on Christmas Day, they were given the 26th off to visit family.
Historians suspect it goes back to Roman times when people would put coins, food, and clothing in metal boxes outside of churches for the Feast of St. Stephen. We sing about the Feast of St. Stephen in the carol Good King Wenceslas who was a king in Czech from 907-935.
You’ve probably gathered up all of the ribbons and bows and wrapping paper. But did you know:
- Average number of presents wrapped by an adult each holiday season: 15
- Wrapping paper and shopping bags thrown away each holiday season: 4 million tons
- Annual sales for the gift wrap industry: $2.6 billion (ok, we have birthdays too)
- Christmas cards soled each year in the U.S.: 2.65 billion (and if you stacked them all up, it would be 10 stories tall)
- In one survey, 53% said that they’ve saved and re-used wrapping paper. (obviously not the stuff opened by small children in a frenzy)
- Amount of ribbon thrown away each year: 38,000 miles (enough to tie a bow around the Earth)
- 12.9 million fake trees were purchased in 2011 at an average cost of $78. The average lifespan of an artificial tree is 10 years.
- 21.6 million real trees were purchased in 2011 at an average cost of $46.
- So if you bought a fake tree, by year 3, you’ve gotten back your investment. For some, like those with allergies, fake is the only way to go. For others, real trees are the only choice. 16% of those people prefer to cut their own tree.
- And it’s a real mood booster no matter which way because 87% of Americans say that Christmas decorating makes them happy, and in 2011, 71% of U.S. households decorated for Christmas.
And you can have a lot of (cheap) fun driving around local neighborhoods in the evening and admiring the colorful displays. Did your neighborhood put up lights this year?