Subscribe RSS
Boxing Day: A Canadian Tradition

According to Wikipedia, there are several origins to the meaning of Boxing Day. Below are a couple of my favourites.

Because the staff had to work on such an important day as Christmas by serving the master of the house and their family, they were given the following day off. As servants were kept away from their own families to work on a traditional religious holiday and were not able to celebrate Christmas Dinner, the customary benefit was to “box” up the leftover food from Christmas Day and send it away with the servants and their families. (Similarly, as the servants had the 26th off, the owners of the manor may have had to serve themselves pre-prepared, boxed food for that one day.) Hence the “boxing” of food became “Boxing Day”.

In churches, it was traditional to open the church’s donation box on Christmas Day, and the money in the donation box was to be distributed to the poorer or lower class citizens on the next day. In this case, the “box” in “Boxing Day” comes from that lockbox in which the donations were left.

In Canada, Boxing Day is observed as a holiday, except (in some cases) for those in the retail business. Boxing Day and the days immediately following are when many retail stores sell their Christmas and retired model products by holding clearance sales. Some shoppers will line up for hours at night (sometimes before midnight and after midnight on December 26) for retailers to open their doors. Except in Quebec, retailers often open their stores earlier than usual, such as 6 or 7 am. Some retail companies internally refer to the sales week after Christmas as the “thirteenth month.” It is similar to Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, in the United States. Boxing Day 2005 was the single largest economic transaction day ever in the history of Canadian commerce (according to Visa). Individual big box stores can even gross over CAD$1,000,000 on one single Boxing Day.

As an exception, most retail stores are not permitted to open on Boxing Day in Atlantic Canada, nor in some Ontario communities. (The Nova Scotia government eliminated its ban on Boxing Day openings in 2006; however, most retailers voluntarily remained closed. The ban was reinstated in 2007.) In these areas, most stores offer the same specials on December 27 that they would offer elsewhere on the 26th. This distinction is not well known in central and western Canada.

In Alberta, employers have a choice of giving their employees the day off on either Boxing Day or Remembrance Day, which falls in November.

Category: General Add to: Share
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
2 Responses
  1. Wow! 1M on a single boxing day is a lot of money!

  2. pacquiao vs says:

    cool!!you have a boxing holiday in your place. I hope we have also like that in our place.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>