Friday, December 30, 2005

"What's boxing day?"

So, in answer to a comment on the last post, "Boxing Day" is what we call December 26. I'm not sure of the origin of it, so if anyone knows, feel free to post a comment about it.

Nowadays it is also a huge shopping day. It used to be a great day to get Christmas cards and wrap that were marked down to half price or less. now, some stores have mega-sales-blitzes on just about everything.

For those who receive gift certificates as gifts, Boxing Day is a wonderful day to spend them, because often you can get much more for your money, so to speak.

Certain electronics and furniture stores are famous for their Boxing Day sales. People start lining up at 4:00 a.m. or some other ungodly hour.

Alia and I arrived to the mall at 8:00 a.m. (when it opened) and later heard that some people had been lined up since 6:00 a.m. Being the pragmatic types we are, that seemed ludicrous to us... so we arrived on time and still got all the wrap, cards and whatnot that we hoped to pick up.

I used to work in retail when I was doing my B.A. and Boxing Day was a hideous day to work. All the Christmas spirit seemed to melt away, as people fought and pushed to get what they want. So, I am conscious of this now that I'm wearing "shopper's shoes" instead of "clerk's shoes"... and try to save a little holiday spirit for Boxing Day, too.

For those of you living in the States.... you mean to say... this doesn't happen south of the northern border?!

9 comments:

M A F said...

Sarah,

Boxing Day is a tradition to which the US knows not. Apparently it is only practiced by our allied nations that believe in government subsidized health-care (i.e. socialism). This is something that the US government finds abhorant.

Have a Merry New Year!

ipodmomma said...

yeah, no Boxing Day in the US... I love it here! most shops are still closed, and it's like an extra day of Christmas...

however... I did not know this our first BD, and drove around town looking for an open grocery store.. I was goign to make lasagne...

ended up with vegetable soup instead! but I knew for the next year...

have a really lovely New Year!

Turtle Guy said...

As I understand it, in Britain, "Boxing Day" was a day on which the master of the house would trade places with the servant for the day. In the British military, the officers would trade places with the lower-rank soldiers.

This is all I know, but perhaps one of our English blogger friends could embellish?

Turtle Guy said...

*sigh* I was so hoping to get this comment in before IPM... looks like you've beaten me by minutes! Hopefully you'll return and perhaps shed some light on my comment to this post??

Kim said...

We don't have Boxing Day but man the stores do be packed on the 26th! those spending gift cards they recieved, those out to find bargins on left over holiday items and those returning gifts of wrong size, color or what have you.. Its almost as crazy as Christmas Eve at the mall... I tend to stay away FAR FAR away!

I worked in a department type store one year around the holidays in the Layaway dept of all places -talk about those with no holiday spirit...

Maf said...

Hi,
Someone told me boxing day was named as such, because churches use to leave a box outside for collections. Many people in England use to be too drunk on Xmas day to go to mass, which was the churchs biggest collection of the year. They didn't want to miss out on the drunks, so they left boxes outside.

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madcapmum said...

St. Stephen's Day by the church calendar - the first martyr. There's something so appropriate about that! All the goodwill has come off with the gloves, etc.

Maf said...

My boxing club was closed on boxing day :(

zouzou said...

I did the unthinkable and googled it. Here's what Straight Dope says:
Both the Morris' book, Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins, and Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable are agreed: The Christmas box was a gift box given to a faithful employees (servants, mainly) on the day after Christmas. In earlier times, almsboxes were placed in churches for casual offerings. They were opened on Christmas Day and the contents, called the "dole of the Christmas box" or the "box money" were distributed the next day by the parish priest to the needy families. Hence, the day after Christmas became the day for the Christmas Box or Boxing Day, a gratuity for the servants.