Boxing Day

Boxing Day is observed annually on December 26th in the United Kingdom and other European countries, as well as in former British colonies including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. It became an official holiday during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901), though some historians trace its origins back much further to medieval times. Today, it is mostly an extension of the Christmas holiday, that includes sporting events (read on to see if boxing is one of those sporting events) and shopping (sort of a sporting event).

While no one really knows where the name “Boxing Day” originated, many historians believe the name is derived from the church practice of opening alms boxes the day after Christmas and distributing money to the poor. Historically, British employers followed the church’s lead by giving workers and servants gifts or cash on December 26.

Others believe the “box” refers to the boxes of gifts that employers gave to their servants on the day after Christmas. In wealthy households, servants were often required to work on Christmas Day, but was given December 26th off in order to celebrate the holiday on their own.

Today, Boxing Day is the time for getting together with those you weren’t able to on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, to visit, eat leftovers, drink, and watch sports.
Football (the non-American version) and horse racing are popular sporting events that take place on Boxing Day. Fox hunting was also a sporting event for the patricians. However in 2004, it became illegal to hunt foxes with a pack of dogs. Hunters will still gather, dressed brilliantly in red hunting coats, but now they follow artificially laid trails. In other countries, Boxing Day is celebrated with…wait for it…prize-fighting events. These include former British colonies in Africa and the Caribbean.

Boxing Day has become known as a big day for shopping. Stores offer steep discounts, and people spend hours waiting in line for these huge deals. It’s basically Black Friday Part II (And as a side note; Britain and Canada both recognize Black Friday on the same day as the US, despite celebrating Thanksgiving in either a different month or not at all).

Ireland refers to December 26th as “St. Stephen’s Day”, named after the Saint recognized as the first martyr in Christian theology. Ireland also refers to this day as Wren Day, a nod to an old tradition in which poor children would stone a wren (to represent what happened to St. Stephen) and then go around town knocking on doors asking for money. While this tradition continues, a fake wren is now used, and the money collected is for charity.

Hope this sheds a little light when you see “Boxing Day” on the December 26th block on your calendar.

United States Flag Store is here to answer all your questions. Feel free to give us a toll free call at 1-877-734-2458 or email us at support@onlinestores.com.

National Wreaths Across America Day

National Wreaths Across America Day is observed annually on the 3rd Saturday in December.

National Wreaths Across America Day is a volunteer program to cover all Veterans grave markers with a Christmas wreath. The mission of Wreaths Across America is to remember, honor and teach. By organizing wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery and other veterans’ cemeteries around the country, Wreaths Across America strives to remember our fallen heroes, honor those who serve and teach our children about the sacrifices made by veterans and their families to preserve our freedoms.

Wreaths Across America coordinates wreath-laying ceremonies at more than 1,400 locations across the United States, at sea and abroad. December was chosen because there is no better time to express appreciation than during the holiday season for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

This wonderful display of remembrance began in 1992 when Morrill Worcester and his business Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, had a surplus of wreaths toward the end of the holiday season. Years before at the age of 12, Worcester had visited Arlington National Cemetery in our nation’s capital. The experience had reminded him through his life of the sacrifice some had made in order for others, including himself, to succeed and flourish.

Plans were made to lay the wreaths in honor of our Veterans at an older, less visited section of Arlington National Cemetery. Volunteers stepped forward to help deliver and place the wreaths.

Becoming an annual, yet quiet tribute, this went on for several years. Then in 2005, a photo of the stones at Arlington, adorned with wreaths and covered in snow, circulated around the internet. Suddenly, the project received national attention. Thousands of requests poured in from all over the country from people wanting to help with Arlington, to model after the Arlington project at their National and State cemeteries, or to simply share their stories and thank Morrill Worcester for honoring our nation’s heroes.

In 2007, the Wreaths Across America non-profit group was founded. The event has expanded to all 50 states to lay wreaths at veterans’ cemeteries to remember our fallen heroes, honor those who serve and teach our children about the sacrifices made by veterans and their families.

In 2008, over 300 locations held wreath-laying ceremonies in every state, Puerto Rico and 24 overseas cemeteries. Over 100,000 wreaths were placed on veterans’ graves. Over 60,000 volunteers participated. And that year, December 13, 2008 was unanimously voted by the US Congress as “Wreaths Across America Day”.

To learn how you can volunteer or sponsor wreaths, visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org

Continue to honor our veterans with a grave marker. Available for each military branch and war, we also have markers for firefighters, police officers, and masonic lodge.

 Air Force Flag Holder

Army Flag Holder

 Coast Guard Flag Holder

 Marine Corps Flag Holder

Navy Flag Holder

United States Flag Store is here to answer all your questions. Feel free to give us a toll free call at 1-877-734-2458 or email us at support@onlinestores.com.