December 26th =BOXING DAY
Boxing Day originated from the Victorian era in the 1800’s. Traditionally boxing day was the day when all servants had a day off, and the day when they received a special Christmas box from their masters(employers)
The servants would also go home on Boxing Day to give Christmas boxes to their families.
A Difficult Life for Servants in Victorian England
In 1891, 1.3 million girls and women worked as domestic servants in Victorian England.
The British census of 1891 found that 1.3 million girls and women worked as domestic servants in Victorian England. They were usually recruited between the ages of 10 and 13, after they had been through some elementary schooling. Many employers hoped for the servants they hired to have at least some elementary literacy and numeracy. It was difficult to get in the 1850s, but by the ’80s and ’90s, it was becoming a more realistic expectation.
If you went to work for a middle-class family or an upper-class family, you would usually have to go to live in the house where you were working. If you were working for an upper working-class family, it was more likely that you would live at home and simply migrate over every day to do the work. Wherever you were a servant, the hours of labor were very long.
The times when you would have to work hardest were often the holidays when everyone else had the day off because usually, Christmas, for example, the family for which you worked would be hosting a party or dinner and you would have to work to get everything ready. That is one reason why Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, is a traditional day for giving presents, boxes to the servants, hence the name.
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