Boxing Day is a secular holiday celebrated on 26th December in all Commonwealth countries with a predominantly Christian population, such as the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. This festivity is based on the tradition of giving charity to members of the lower social classes on the day after Christmas. Today, Boxing Day is synonymous with winter sales deals, outdoor activities and major sporting events: among them, the now customary Premier League Boxing Day round-up.
If Black Friday is considered the first day of the Christmas shopping season, Boxing Day has established itself as the official start of the winter sales: according to figures, Boxing Day in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK is the heaviest shopping day of the year. For many shoppers, Boxing Day sales deals are an excellent opportunity to buy things they already need but want to save money on, rather than a day just to browse.
In countries where Boxing Day is celebrated, many people in frenzy use to line up in front of the shops - especially at big consumer electronics retailers - from midnight onwards, to take advantage of Boxing Day deals, as most stores offer discounts of up to 75%. If you are not a fan of shoulder-to-shoulder crowds and hectic shopping experiences, you can still snag your deal online: in recent years there has been a massive increase in online sales, and most shops offer substantial Boxing Day deals, extending their promotions for a few days until the beginning of the new year, the so called “Boxing Week”.
The first step for buying online with no risk is always to have a good antivirus updated to the latest version on your computer, as it also offers protection when making purchases on the Internet. For greater online security, you also need to update your browser to the latest available version because new threats can make it vulnerable every day.
You can find great Boxing Day deals, but when an offer is too cheap, it could be a fake or a scam. Give preference to online shops of large chains because, in addition to offering safe payments, they are also reliable in terms of assistance and warranty on the product and its shipping. A closed padlock at the bottom of the page or an "https" in the address bar is further confirmation of the confidentiality of the data you enter on the site, meaning that the website is using a user protection protocol.
Before completing the purchase verify if the site is provided with references such as a VAT number, a landline phone number, a physical address and further contact details. When these data are missing, the shop probably does not want to be traceable and may have something to hide.
The origin of the name is uncertain, but it somehow dates back to the past times when, on December 26, aristocrats and wealthy British families used to pack special boxes containing small gifts, money or food - often Christmas leftovers - for their household employees and service staff. Another leading theory to explain the origin of Boxing Day refers to the alms boxes that were placed in churches during the Advent season to collect monetary donations from parishioners. On the day after Christmas, which is also the feast of St. Stephen - well known for his acts of charity - clergymen would distribute these boxes to the most unfortunate people.
Before World War II, it was common for working people - such as milkmen and butchers - to travel round their delivery places and collect their Christmas box or tip. This tradition has now mostly stopped and any Christmas tips given to people such as postal workers and newspaper delivery children, are generally not given or collected on Boxing Day.
In the United Kingdom and Ireland, Boxing Day has nothing to do with boxing or other activities involving fighting. In other countries, however, such as the former British colonies in Africa or the Caribbean, prize-winning tournaments of various wrestling disciplines are organised on Boxing Day.
In the United Kingdom, Boxing Day was not formalised until 1871, when the Bank Holiday Acts established the feast of Saint Stephen as a public holiday on the 26th of December. If this date falls on a Saturday, Boxing Day celebrations are conventionally postponed to the following Monday; if it falls on a Sunday, the feast is observed on the next Tuesday.
While Christmas Day is traditionally an occasion to enjoy the day off and stay all together in the family at home, Boxing Day is more about visiting friends, particularly those you couldn’t see on the day before, gathering for informal meals to play board games and watch sports. Different leagues in England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland hold football and rugby matches, whereas in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa it’s more common to watch cricket matches.
In the past, Boxing Day was an essential fixture in the fox hunting calendar for the higher classes, until this sport was eventually banned in the early 2000s in the UK and Scotland. Nevertheless, outdoor activities like picnics, bike rides and hikes have also become quite popular on Boxing Day.
Boxing Day is a unique celebration for the Brits and the British Commonwealth people, and there are many reasons for this, many of which relate to the social history linked to this tradition. Above all, Boxing Day means continuing the end-of-year festivities, and this includes, of course, both eating and drinking, in a genuine, unpretentious and more relaxed way than Christmas.
Whether it’s a more elaborate recipe or just a mash-up of Christmas leftovers, food on Boxing Day continues to be lively and festive but is mainly served as a buffet. So, for home cooks, it's a bit of a relief not to be stuck in front of the stove all day. Instead, it is a perfect occasion to try simple, trivial dishes like baked hams, cakes and mince pies, that can be prepared in advance and served quickly with no frills. You may just need to quickly warm the food before serving it to unexpected guests showing up, to share the festive atmosphere of the day.
As Christmas and Boxing Day fall in the middle of winter, many cakes and pies reflect the spirit of this season and are full of meat, especially game and spices. A traditional recipe is, undoubtedly, the Boxing Day cake, summarising all that is wonderful about British food in winter. Another Boxing Day classic is the pork pie, a quintessentially British treat made of thick pastry with a great crunch, often topped by vibrant cranberry that burst into your mouth.
Our stand mixers are perfect for kneading your cakes and pies and giving a touch of cheerfulness and elegance to your kitchen, thanks to their unmistakable design. And why not choose one of our blenders to grind the leftovers from your Christmas lunch and prepare a delicious spreadable cream?
A few dishes give more satisfaction than roast chicken: a juicy, crispy, symbol of the feast lunch and sometimes even of the reunited family. On the other hand, there are even fewer things more boring than chicken leftovers in the fridge for the rest of the week. Such tasty morsels have become dry, and heating them up would not solve the problem: yet, with minimal effort, roast chicken leftovers can turn into a whole new meal. Just use your inventiveness to answer the question: how to use roast chicken leftovers? Here are just some quick suggestions:
It's the easiest way: chop, stir, season. All the additional ingredients make the difference: you can simply reuse other leftovers from the fridge, or indulge yourself with themed salads.
Tortillas are also suitable to be stuffed with chopped leftover chicken and chopped. Mix the pieces in a large bowl with corn kernels, diced tomatoes, lemon juice and barbecue sauce. Then heat the tortillas and cover them with lettuce before adding the chicken and corn mix. Finish with a spoonful of sour cream or yoghurt sauce.
Chicken pies are a typical Boxing Day treat, and they are incredibly easy to prepare if you use shortcrust or a ready made puff pastry. Start by browning the ingredients for the filling, e.g. onion, leeks, mushrooms, ham and of course the leftover pieces of chicken. Add cooking cream and cook for another five minutes. Then turn off the heat and add parsley or herbs of your choice, eggs and grated cheese. Roll out the pasta in a cake tin and fill it with the mixture; if you want to prepare a truly English style cake, cover with another layer of pastry and brush with beaten egg. Bake at 180° for about 40 minutes.
Leftovers…We all know they play a crucial part in the Boxing Day menus. Our ovens, mini ovens and microwaves perfectly capture the Boxing Day spirit, allowing you to heat the leftovers from the day before quickly. All you have to do is decide on the right size and design to match your kitchen.
Some might argue that the lamb is so good that there is never any left, but after a sumptuous Christmas lunch, this could happen. What to do then? For fried chops, it is necessary to heat them and eat them as they are. For lamb legs, why not divide the meat into fillets, season it with basil, peel and lemon juice, chilli pepper and eat it as a tasty appetiser? Don't you like the idea? You can use it to stuff your ravioli, after mincing and mixing it with ricotta cheese. To season it, use peas with bacon from the day before! Still want more? Try some thick mashed potatoes, spread on an oven-proof dish, put some slices of lamb in between and perfume it with curry.
Once cooked in milk, pork meat will regain all its softness and fragrance, and The side dish with potatoes will accompany this dish at its best. You can also revive the taste of the meat with some sweet apple sauce: of course, when using your leftover pork, it’s crucial to adjust the standard cooking time taking out the meat from the oven much earlier. Another gimmick to liven up pork meat could be to cook it in beer; you can use slices of roast meat instead of chops, and abound with beer to achieve an excellent result. Your kids will love pork meatballs leftover roast. This dish can be ideal for serving to children who prefer meatballs among the main courses.
Unless you've had a hungry treasure for Christmas Day, there's bound to be some leftover Christmas bird which, of course, is perfect for Stephen's Day table. It can be served cold or lightly heated with a little added hot sauce, a spoonful of blueberry sauce and maybe even a little bread sauce. Of course, you can turn meat into another dish completely if you have time.
Always on hand to keep a smoked salmon in the fridge during the Christmas period, it keeps well and can be taken out to add some fish to a table on Boxing Day.
No British Boxing Day table would be complete without a traditional ham. Serve warm or cold with spicy and tasty pickled onions and perhaps a small amount of mustard.
When your family and friends pay you a surprise visit, don't be unprepared to make a toast with your favourite drinks at the right temperature. With our wine coolers and drink fridges, you can store your most precious bottles in the best conditions, and serve them at the best temperature at any time. And if you'd like to enjoy a proper pint, perhaps while you're watching your favourite team struggling with their Boxing Day rival, why not use one of our beer dispensers?
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