I’ve always thought of Boxing Day as a Canadian holiday only. My American friends think of December 26th as just another day. The day after Christmas. The day before December 27th. But here in Canada, it’s a national holiday, although no one I asked really seems to know why. So I looked it up in that great online braindump, Wikipedia.
The name derives from the tradition of giving seasonal gifts, on the day after Christmas, to less wealthy people and social inferiors, which was later extended to various workpeople such as labourers and servants.
Wow. We made a national holiday based on that?
Even better, apparently it’s not unique to the Great While North at all. In fact, some of the other countries that celebrate Boxing Day include the UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and Macau.
Here it’s become equated with Boxing Day sales, something akin to the American’s Black Friday shopping blitz in November. I don’t bother going anywhere near the stores during the Boxing Day blowout. I simply don’t have the patience to fight crowds of people for the chance to save a few dollars. I say “chance” because far too often I’ve heard people complain that the door crasher items shown prominently on the front page of the flyers are available in such ridiculously low quantities that it’s not even a realistic sale item. You’re not going to get your hands on one of them, so don’t fool yourself!
But that’s another rant for another day. Instead, kick your feet up, take another sip of your Bailey’s, and enjoy the second paid holiday of the season, if it was originally created to celebrate your social inferiority!