CHICAGO (WBBM Newsradio) — The British tradition of Boxing Day was celebrated Tuesday at the birthplace of Ernest Hemingway in Oak Park.

For the uninitiated, former Hemingway Foundation board member Virginia Cassin explains the medieval origins of Boxing Day celebrated in Britain by wealthy lords.

“The day after Christmas all the leftovers were put into boxes and he went out in his sleigh or his carriage and delivered it to the peasants,” she said.

Cassin said some aspect of the Christmas holidays that the famous writer and his siblings enjoyed a century ago are the same for today’s kids.

“The children said the first thing they did was look for the chocolate,” she said.

The 93-year-old woman led the restoration of the Hemingway Home, which is currently decorated with metallic bows, stockings full of chocolates and a large Christmas tree.

The celebration, which run from noon until 4 p.m., includes musicians playing violins, harps and recorders, plus lots of scones and other British sweets. A panel will speak about the history of Boxing Day.

Cassin describes the place as festive, but thinks Tuesday’s cold weather might keep people from coming out to see it.

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