Boxing Day

In the immortal words of Noddy Holder, it’s Christmas! Or is it?

This episode comes out on Thursday the 24th of December, which for the people of Reunion is Christmas. For us Brits, however, it’s nothing special. No, we celebrate Christmas on the 25th, which is great if you are a parent. You see, we get to send our kids to bed early on the 24th. We don’t have to wait up until midnight, while the kids run around. In fact, in Britain the children want to go to bed earlier. The earlier they sleep, the earlier they can wake up the next morning to open their presents.

This is something I will never understand about Christmas in Reunion. You give gifts to your youngsters at midnight, so they are all excited about their new toys and games, and to punish them you only let them play for an hour or so before sending them to bed!

No, we have to wait until the 25th to exchange our gifts. Don’t feel too sad for us however, because we have something you don’t. Boxing Day!

« What on Earth is Boxing Day? » you all cry! No, it’s not the day that your uncles drink too much Red Label, and get into boxing matches with each other (that’s new years eve, surely). Despite its name, it has nothing to do with the sport of boxing.

Legend goes that back in the 17th century, on the first day back to work after the Christmas festivities, employers would hand their employees Christmas ‘boxes’. Small packages containing their Christmas present. These boxes may have contained their Christmas bonus, presents for their families, or even leftovers from the employers Christmas feast. This tradition has died out, but the bank holiday remains. Nowadays, Boxing Day is celebrated by nursing a hangover, and digesting all that turkey from the day before.

So, I’m going to have a very British Christmas this year. On the 24th I intend to leave out a glass of whisky for Father Christmas, and a carrot for Rudolph. In the evening I will hide small presents in my children’s stockings, then hang them on the tree.

A modest breakfast on the 25th while the children open their presents. Turkey, cranberry, parsnips and stuffing for lunch, and an evening in.

Boxing day will be celebrated just like in Britain. With a couple of paracetamols, and a lot of coffee.

Merry Christmas to you all, and a Happy New Year.


to come out – sortir
to celebrate – fêter
a youngster – un enfant
however – cependant
despite – malgré

festivities – les fêtes
leftovers – les restes (de nourriture)
a feast – un banquet
a bank holiday – une jour férié
nowadays – de nos jours

to nurse – soigner
a hangover – une gueule de bois
turkey – de la dinde
stockings – les bas
a parsnip – un navet

stuffing – la farce

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3 réflexions au sujet de “Boxing Day

  1. Thank you for this History lesson! I’d never heard about Boxing Day before, I’ve learned something interesting !

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