Today is known as Boxing Day, a legal holiday in England, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and other former British Commonwealth countries. It always comes the day after Christmas or on Monday if Christmas falls on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Usually it involves the giving of boxes of food, clothing and money for the needy and doing volunteer work. Or simply a day of giving appreciation and thanks for what you have.

Boxing Day began in the Middle Ages when merchants and the rich would give boxes filled with food and fruits to servants, tradespeople and the less fortunate. In the case of servants, they would work on Christmas Day, so they were given the following day off so they could celebrate with their familes.

That’s what it’s supposed to be, but in England, Australia and Canada it’s become a shopping holiday where stores open early with deeply discounted items for sale – a lot like Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving in this country.