If you’re kicking around this weekend, doing some armchair shopping and wondering how, exactly, Boxing Day started, keep reading. We’re here to give you an overview of the origins of Boxing Day while also sharing what you can expect from Boxing Day 2020.
Spoiler alert: it’s going to look a lot different than years past!
How Boxing Day Started
While Boxing Day is synonymous with post-Christmas sales and crowded malls these days, how Boxing Day started was decidedly less commercially centred.
The origins of Boxing Day date back to the mid-nineteenth century in England under Queen Victoria's rule. On this day, the rich would give Christmas boxes (containing gifts) to the poor. It was a holiday to ensure servants and tradespeople got a day off around Christmas.
Boxing Day also has a religious affiliation. Known alternately as St. Stephen's Day, the occasion pays tribute to this lesser-known saint who was the first Christian martyred for his faith. Shortly after Christ was crucified, he was stoned to death. You may recognize St. Stephen's name from the Christmas song, Good King Wenceslas.
You know how it goes—sing it with us if you want:
Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the Feast of Stephen
When the snow lay 'round about
Deep and crisp and even
Boxing Day is still a bank holiday in the UK, meaning all government, crown agencies, and some shops are closed, though most malls remain open (though maybe not this year). In the mid-1800s, people may have wanted rest, but today, many people want to stay up late or get up early to score sweet (online) deals on coveted merchandise.
As popular as Boxing Day sales are, in Canada and the US, at least, Black Friday is still the reigning monarch of holiday deals.
Still, Boxing Day remains one of the most profitable sale days for retailers around the world. In the US last year sales jumped 3.4%, with online sales surging 18.8%.
What to Expect from Boxing Day This Year
Like most of this year, you can expect Boxing Day 2020 to be a bit of a $h!tshow. Usually, it’s just greed-fueled Boxing Day violence you have to contend with, like fist-fights over parking spots (which is still nothing when compared to the Black Friday death count), but, now, we also have to content with a global pandemic.
Whether or not brick and mortar stores in your area are open on Boxing Day depends on where you live and the regulations in that area. Regardless, it goes without saying that online shopping is a much safer option. Online shops around the world are gearing up to offer people a slew of amazing deals to entice people to stay at home and shop safely.
We’re no exception. Now’s the best time to head to our store to load up on our best-selling fitness gear so you can crush your 2021 fitness goals.