• E029 Boxing Day

    Welcome to English with Kimberley.

    As I sit here at Christmas in an Australian summer, with the sun shining and it being too hot to go outside, I start thinking how lovely it would be to be in a country like Britain at this time.

    Although I know many Australians wouldn’t want Christmas any other way – no snow, roast turkeys and warm clothes for them – it’s shorts, ‘T’ shirts and BBQs and nothing else!

    So, in this episode, I want to talk to you about some of the things that happen at Christmas and the day after Christmas.

    Here’s a quick question.

    In Australia, what’s the name of the day after Christmas day?

    Do you think it’s…

    a) Rest Day?

    b) Boxing Day?

    c) Second Christmas Day?

    or d) Boxes Day?

    And again.

    In Australia, what’s the name of the day after Christmas day?

    Do you think it’s…

    a) Rest Day?

    b) Boxing Day?

    c) Second Christmas Day?

    or d) Boxes Day?

    Well, you’ll be surprised to know that it’s b) ‘Boxing Day’.

    I’ve always been told that in Britain, in olden times, when most people worked as a kind of servant – the day after Christmas (the 26th December) –  the workers had a day off (especially as they worked Christmas Day serving their ‘masters’). During this day, they visited their masters and were given a box that contained either money and/or food. So, the day became known as Boxing Day.

    Yes, this all sounds very British, doesn’t it? And because Britain had an empire it spread around the world as the name for the 26th December – but not the custom.

    These days in countries like Britain and Australia it is a public holiday – although shops tend to open on this day – these days.

    Let’s finish with this quiz – as always just for fun.

    Which of one of these is something we don’t do at Christmas?

    a) Give Christmas cards.

    b) Put up a Christmas tree.

    c) Have a turkey roast dinner.

    or d) Eat chocolate eggs.

    Just let me repeat the question.

    Which of one of these is something we don’t do at Christmas?

    a) Give Christmas cards.

    b) Put up a Christmas tree.

    c) Have a turkey roast dinner.

    or d) Eat chocolate eggs.

    Did you get that it’s d) ‘Eat chocolate eggs’ – because this is something we do at Easter.

    Doing a quick search on the Internet, I found that:

    Christmas cards started in England around 1850 as a business venture about the same time as the first stamp – but they’re rarely sent these days, aren’t they!

    Christmas trees have been used a very long time – possible over a thousand years or longer.

    Christmas dinners with roast turkey have been around for a few hundred years in Britain – made popular by a few old English kings – but they’ve only become popular since the 1950s as fridges and ovens became affordable for most people around this time!

    If you like English with Kimberley, then tell your friends about it.

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    You can also find a script of this podcast at www.goaustralia.biz

    I hope you have enjoyed this podcast and you’ll join me again.

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