Boxing Day (also known as English Boxing Day) is an annual public holiday normally held on the last day of Christmas Day. Though it originally originated as a day to give poor people’s gifts, nowadays Boxing Day has become primarily associated with shopping. The tradition of Boxing Day shopping began in the UK where wealthy families would send their children away to school on Boxing Day to earn extra money for the rest of the year. In this way, the children would be able to buy the more expensive items that the rich did not buy during Christmas such as fancy dress outfits and toys.
For years, the day was almost a money making opportunity for the children; parents would send out pre-paid postal cards on the day that they expected their children to receive their allowance. They would then return to their homes on Boxing Day, knowing that by the time Christmas day arrived, their money had been spent and so should it be. These postal cards would usually contain a list of items that could be bought with the money received on Boxing Day such as clothes and toys. However, many shops changed the rule to allow customers to buy anything that the customer wanted on Christmas day, regardless of whether they asked for it or not. This led to a rush for Boxing Day clothes where a shopper can find anything from designer labels to obscure clothing that often comes at unbelievably cheap prices.
On the night of Boxing Day, traditionally shops and shopkeepers open their doors to offer the best deals for their customers, often offering up to 50% discounts on things like DVD’s and electronics. However, the sale does not end there as many shops and business owners also take advantage of the holiday by offering decorations such as lights and banners around their shops for extra excitement on this most famous shopping day. Also, the famous Christmas tree in London is decked out with baubles and ribbons to make it look more festive. With all the extra energy and money put into Boxing Day festivities, many people are left wondering why it is still celebrated on a bank holiday when the rest of the year has long gone.