Happy Boxing Day!
If you donate to a charity on Dec. 26, or any day, check out your possible tax deduction
The day after Christmas is known in some countries as Boxing Day.
These cats seem to be in the spirit.
As was our kitty on any day of the year that a box of any size appeared.
As a lover of cats large and small, house and wild, I can certainly appreciate the feline interpretation of Dec. 26
However, for people, Boxing Day has different meanings.
An evolving Boxing Day: In recent years, according to the Associated Press, Boxing Day has evolved into a day of relaxation, indulgence and shopping.
Televisions across the world are tuned to the sporting events popular in the broadcasters' nations, including college and professional football games in the United States and soccer matches everywhere else in the world, perfect for spending the day curled up on a comfortable couch.
Some folks open their homes to family and friends who drop by for turkey, ham, and half-finished bottles of wine left over from Christmas dinner.
Others head to the stores again, to exchange ill-fitting or inappropriate gifts or simply to take advantage of post-Christmas sales.
Boxing Day's origin: But some folks tend to hew closer to Boxing Day's origins.
Some say the day is connected to St. Stephen, whose feast day is Dec. 26. He was a deacon in the early Christian church, renowned for helping care for the poor. Boxing Day, say St. Stephen acolytes, honors his work and fall on Dec. 26 because it traditionally was the day that churches opened their boxes of alms and gave them out to the poor.
Another theory is that the day began centuries ago when servants were given the day after Christmas off as a day of rest after all their work in preparing their masters' holiday celebrations.
While Boxing Day is primarily celebrated in the United Kingdom and the nations, predominantly Canada and Australia, that were part of the Commonwealth, it is still celebrated in some other countries.
If you want to get into the spirit, consider giving today to your favorite charity. You can volunteer. Or donate money. Or donate other things, such as the old clothes you no longer need because you got new ones yesterday, or other household goods.
Giving and getting back at tax time: If you are inclined to be charitable today, or any of the other 364 days for that matter, you also might be eligible for a tax deduction on your upcoming tax return.
That's why today's date, 26, is this week's By the Numbers honoree.
That tax break, of course, is not why you want to give and celebrate Boxing Day. But there's nothing wrong with getting yourself a little tax gift in connection with your desire to help others.
You can find out more about the tax rules regarding charitable giving at:
- Charitable donation tax deduction rules apply on Giving Tuesday and year-round
- Charitable donations and the tax collector
- Deductions demand documentation
- Checking out charities before you give
- Charitable gifts: a present for those in need and you at tax time
- The Little Drummer Boy's tax lesson for volunteers
- Tax rules for international donations
- Donating and deducting a car
- Charitable donations make great -- and potentially tax deductible -- last-minute Christmas gifts
If you want to give on this Boxing Day, I know some cats who can suggest some animal-related charities for your consideration.
But regardless of how you decide to spend Boxing Day, be it doing good deeds or recovering from a fantastic Christmas, enjoy!