Dustmen’s Christmas Box

Seems an age ago that we used to give the dustmen a Christmas box – what we would call a Christmas tip these days. In our household, when I was a child, there would be much discussion over how much to leave and whether it would go to the correct crew. Not tipping apparently ran the risk of having your rubbish tipped out on the drive. This was a threat that went the rounds in hushed tones, but I never saw it acted upon. I think the thought was always that in the future you might need something large taken away and a good Chrismas box acted as an annual insurance policy.

Tipping the dustmen and the postman was as essential a part of Christmas as having and decorating a tree. (Always a live one in those days.) I’m not sure when it all stopped, but asking around noone appears to do it anymore.

I found this snippet in Punch magazine for 1855. I rather like the security token idea. No token – no tip and it made sure you tipped the correct people.

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