Today the 26 December, St. Stephen’s Day, is known almost universally as Boxing Day and has its roots in the Christian church. Traditionally an offering box was placed in the church which remained unopened all year round. The box was opened on Christmas Day, and the contents distributed by the priests. The contents was called the ‘dole of the Christmas box’ or ’box money’. The actual money itself is the Christmas Box.
The term Christmas Box also refers to the actual box owned by apprentices which was taken to customers of the owners or masters’ business at this time in the hope of receiving some small gift in appreciation of their work.
Until just after World War II postmen in England (UK) received a Christmas Box from the employer. Many tradesmen, dustcart loaders and delivery people who do not receive Christmas Box gratuities from employers still call at this time year in the hope of receiving a little tip from a grateful customer.