No-one quite knows the exact origins of Boxing Day as there are many competing theories.

Today, it is a second Christmas public holiday and associated with sales in the shops, but not this year.

The numerous ideas of when Boxing Day started, and for what purpose, are probably all correct in their own way as the meaning has changed over time.

One aspect is apparent throughout and is about giving something to others.

One theory is that it marks the day when the alms box in churches was opened and the contents given to poor people.

This is perhaps the furthest back theory and therefore, if accurate, the most likely to explain why it called Boxing Day.

Others include public service workers being given a Christmas box of money, or gifts, when they return on the first working day after Christmas Day.

Also plausible.

Another is that it was because servants working for the rich in the ‘big houses’ would get the day off and be sent home with a box of gifts and leftover food.

Not quite as charitable as it appears when you think about it.

This year what has been highlighted, not just on Boxing Day but through out the year, is the many people who have been doing what they can, and then some, for others.

The number of people in poverty is increasing, the number of people in need of help and support in ways other than food and shelter is increasing and what we have seen is, correspondingly the effort put in by those who seek to help has also increased.

So, this Boxing Day it seems fitting to thank those people.

There are far too many to mention, but we have highlighted a good number of them in the Glasgow Times throughout the year.

They include people running food banks, their volunteers and those who donate and who stepped up this year and donated even more when stocks where dangerously low.

They are people all over the city.

The people who can be seen out in the streets at night, and many were out yesterday on Christmas Day, taking food to people who otherwise would go hungry.

They set up at various points, including George Square, Cadogan Street, in Anderston and Sauchiehall Street, and many others take their supplies around the city centre.

They have adapted during the covid pandemic and take food to where they know people are accommodated or they are out trying to ensure people know where to go to try and get shelter.

There are too many but they include Simon Community Scotland, Help for the Homeless (H4TH), Destiny Church, The Marie Trust, Social Bite, Turning Point Scotland (TPS) and The Halliday Foundation.

Many faith groups and faith based charities including Glasgow City Mission, Lodging House Mission, Glasgow Central Mosque, and the Sikh Gurdwaras in Albert Drive and Berkeley Street use their premised to cook food for people to come in or to be distributed.

The include the many people who have been fundraising this year for charities who have seen a drop in their income due to big events being cancelled.

Again there are too many to mention but they have been a lifeline for many organisations that rely on donations for much of their income.

Like the Dad, Andrew Nicolson, who raised more than £5000 for his local foodbank in Shettleston by shaving off one side of his body, facial and head hair.

Or Sadie Hay who asked everyone to donate to Bobath, which supports her cousin, instead of presents for her 9th birthday and raised around £1000 and even got all her classmates involved in a sponsored walk.

There are all the people who donated to the many toybanks and Christmas toy appeals across Glasgow, including the Glasgow Times Bank on us, which helped get toys to thousands of children.

Others include the Spirit of Christmas Charity and the Sarwar Foundation who run annual appeals.

The Spirit of Christmas appeal was backed this year by Glasgow care home nurse Jane Fraser and her colleagues in a home in Dennistoun who urged people to become a secret Santa to a child and donate a toy.

Despite coping with the covid pandemic they wanted to return the thank you clapping they received by helping children in need.

These people are ordinary people who have been doing extraordinary things to help people in need.

Many have stepped up this year when they see more of their fellow citizens struggling.

Many have been doing it for years, without being asked to, and will continue to do so for as long as there is a need.

They are the people who help make Glasgow.

So as Boxing Day has changed though out the centuries, having different meanings throughout the centuries, why not change it once again.

Let’s make it a day when when we remember all the good work done by the many people who refuse to sit back and see others suffer.

And let’s resolve to join them and support them in their work throughout the year.