by John Riggio
Boxing Day is the day after Christmas, and it has nothing to do with the sport of boxing! Although we don't celebrate Boxing Day here in the United States, it's celebrated in countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and others. There is some speculation about how the holiday actually began, but we know it started in the United Kingdom with references going back to the 1830s. Employers would give boxes of gifts to their employees and tradesmen, and there were alms boxes set up to give to the poor. December 26 is also St. Stephen's Day, or the Feast of Stephen, and there is a reference in the song "Good King Wenceslas" about giving to the poor which might also be a source for Boxing Day. Nowadays, Boxing Day is celebrated with sales, sports (especially football), and food.
Musically, this is a very upbeat song! For the most part it is easy to sing, and using our recording as a guide for your students will make it even more so. There is an optional part 2 in this song beginning at the second ending, and although the part could fit physically into part 1, it would be nigh impossible for part 1 to sing both lines without some difficulty, so we recommend splitting your singers up at that point to cover the parts. It's also just more fun that way.
If you are able to use this in performance, it would be cute to have the singers dress up in Victorian garb and carry wrapped gift boxes. Boys could wear dark trousers, a white shirt, a waist coat (vest), and a paper top hat; girls could wear long dresses with shawls over the shoulders and perhaps a head scarf.
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.