I didn’t know before starting to write this post exactly what Boxing Day was, or where it came from. The history is actually pretty fascinating. For example, did you know Samuel Pepys actually complained in his diary how much Boxing Day was costing him?
Boxing Day originates (or is believed to originate from) the Middle Ages. It would be the day where the church collection boxes would be cracked open, and the money shared amongst the poor families in the area. Somewhere around the Victorian era, the day took on an extra purpose. Wealthy families, who couldn’t spare their servants on Christmas Day, allowed them to have their celebrations the day after. The servants would be allowed the day off to visit their families and would be given tokens of appreciation from their employers before they left – boxes with trinkets, leftover food from Christmas Day, and perhaps even money in them.
With a sad lack of servants, I think everyone now knows Boxing Day more commonly as ‘recovery day’ – a day for being spent in your pyjamas preferably, maybe nursing a bad head, eating turkey sandwiches and wading through the mountains of wrapping paper, boxes and cards from the day before (that you really should clean up but, you know, it’s sort of still Christmas isn’t it).
So to delay the clean-up a little longer, save the planet and honour Boxing Day, here are my top picks for what you can do with your old cardboard boxes. You might never even want to get rid of them…
1. Hide from the kids in a sensory tunnel – and maybe let them play too.
I love this idea, and it’s definitely one I’m going to be giving a go this year. Doesn’t need much – just a few pairs of tights (or you could use ties or scarves). There’s also the potential to thread through fairy lights and pop in some cushions, for a cute little hideaway.
2. Let them cook up a storm
If you have a bit more time on your hands and some space, this would be an amazing idea and is sure to keep the little ones busy for hours. All it took was a bit of imagination, a lot of boxes and some decorative bits and bobs.
3. Make a start on giving your house a fresh new look for the New Year
This is so effective, and looks so easy. By using box lids as canvases, and decorative studs/paint/decoupage paper, it’s easy to create a really striking bunch of little wall hangings.
4. Say thank you
How great would it be to say thank you for a gift, using the box it came in? Using stamps and ink, you can create cute little thank you cards like the ones pictured, or go a bit overboard (think glitter and ribbons) and really make something that stands out!
5. Store your new belongings in style
Using just cardboard boxes, gold studs and fabric, it’s fairly easy to create some stylish storage boxes (all the better to help you tidy up). Super cheap and quick to make, you could either make handles as in the example below or keep the box lids and make some stackable boxes for even more space-saving.
6. Make a statement
Cardboard letters make great wall or door hangings, or can be propped up on shelves easily for great effect. Wrap them in raffia or yarn, or pad them out with wadding and layer in fabric for a lovely nursery decoration.
7. And final, enjoy your pyjama party.
If it’s Boxing Day, and you’re unlikely to get out of your pyjamas anyway, you may as well make the most of it. Crank the music up (grab your paracetamol), unfold the boxes and go wild in your own playground. Children not necessarily required…
Have you been inspired to do something different this Boxing Day? Leave a comment below with your suggestion on what to make with a box!