Boxing Day Shopping Tips

26 Dec

Boxing Day takes its origins from St. Stephen’s Day, an early Christian holiday where metal boxes were placed outside churches to collect special offerings tied to the Feast of St. Stephen. In some countries, Boxing Day included giving money and other gifts to those in service positions, or the needy. This custom is linked to an older English tradition where the wealthy would allow their servants to take a holiday on December 26th to visit their families. The employers would give their servants boxes containing gifts, bonuses and leftovers.

In today’s consumer-obsessed world, Boxing Day is all about shopping. Giving boxes to the needy, versus stampeding with competing shoppers for that doorbuster deal — what a mental leap. In recent years, Boxing Day has  expanded to Boxing Week.

If you love shopping, Boxing Day is an exhilarating experience — the serious shopper’s equivalent to climbing Mount Everest. I once bought a $50 pair of cream sling-back pumps for $6. Oh, the rush.

If you hate shopping, do yourself a favor and nurse your hangover on the 26th. Venturing near a shopping mall simply isn’t worth it.

Lately I’ve been avoiding the stores on Boxing Day, but when my daughters were younger, we would get up early to brave the crowds. Here are some tips for shopping on Boxing Day:

1. No matter how cold it is outside, wear a light jacket. If you wear a parka you’ll be too hot and will have to carry it around. The only thing you want to be carrying is a large shopping bag full of deals.

2. Bring a water bottle and a protein bar. The mall food court will be too crowded, and stopping to eat will interfere with your shopping time.

3. Remember that most stores don’t allow exchanges or returns on Boxing Day. If you tell a cashier you want to return something, you’ll look like a Boxing Day rookie, and fellow shoppers will scowl at you.

4. Because of the potential for stampedes resulting in injuries or fatalities, some stores hire security guards. Be nice to them. They’re there for your protection. Don’t bother trying to bribe them. They may be rent-a-cops, but they’ve got their pride.

5. Never go shopping alone on Boxing Day. You need a shopping buddy to guard your bags while you go to the bathroom, and you need somebody to be aware that you’re missing in the event you’re trampled by the crowd.

Happy shopping and stay safe!

2 Responses to “Boxing Day Shopping Tips”

  1. Ellis Vidler December 28, 2011 at 7:44 am #

    Your tips are good ones for today’s shoppers, Nancy. However, my answer is to stay home. When I was young, my friends and I got money for Christmas. Our mothers took us shopping on Boxing Day and we got lots more clothes than we could have by shopping earlier. But then, the after-Christmas sales really were after Christmas. It was fun but exhausting for the mothers. Fortunately we had loads of leftovers so no one had to cook that evening. Good memories.
    Happy New Year!

    • nancyelizabethlauzon December 28, 2011 at 8:39 am #

      Yes, it can be a lot of fun but so tiring. I stayed home this year too. I find the sales aren’t as good as they used to be.

      Happy New Year to you also!


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