Boxing Day in Canada

Boxing Day is not an event where people put on boxing gloves and challenge one another to fights.  It’s the biggest shopping day of the year in Canada.  Boxing Day falls on December 26th and has changed a bit over the years.  It was originally the day when staff or servants would receive Christmas presents from their employers, called “boxes”.

Now, Boxing Day is based on commercialism and blowout sales.  On December 26th, many stores open at ungodly hours of the morning - just after midnight or 6am - to allow a flood of people to surge inside like a tidal wave.  Almost everything is on sale with some items being dropped to crazy low prices.  Even furniture and electronics are drastically reduced in price in order to attract as many customers as possible.  

A large crowd of people will usually start to line up long before the store is set to open.  This is mainly because there is a limited number of items available, or the store is offering doorbuster deals (the first few people in the store get an extra discount or free giveaway).  

Boxing Day is similar to the Japanese custom of lining up after New Year’s Day for 福袋 (lucky bags).  One of the major differences is that the people shopping on Boxing Day know exactly what they’re buying when they get to the cash register, whereas the people with the lucky bags may be in for a pleasant - or unpleasant - surprise when they open their purchase.

Since Boxing Day can be very stressful, as well as fun, not many people are in the mood for cooking dinner when they get home.  That’s what makes Christmas turkey even more wonderful!  There’s enough to go around for 2 days, relieving shoppers of the need to cook when they get home on the 26th.

For anyone who isn’t feeling up to fighting over electronics with a bunch of shopaholics, many websites also offer Boxing Day deals.  You can shop from the comfort of your own home and take your time deciding what you want to buy.

Popular Boxing Day purchases:

  • Game consoles (Playstation, Wii)
  • iPad
  • Computers (laptops and desktop computers)
  • Clothing, especially outerwear
  • Shoes
  • Jewelry
  • Toys
  • Makeup and perfume
  • Sporting goods
  • Drastically reduced Christmas decorations and Christmas-themed goods

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