Things to Do on Boxing Day


If you’re a Yankee (otherwise known as the affectionate term those across the pond use for Americans) you may be asking yourself, “What the heck is Boxing Day?” Well, Boxing Day is kind of like Black Friday for England, Australia, and Canada, except it’s actually a national holiday in some areas of those countries (Black Friday has mysteriously escaped this distinction as yet).

Boxing Day takes place on December 26th, and has origins of a somewhat muddled nature. Some say the holiday came about because in feudal times, on the day after Christmas, lords of the manors in England would distribute boxes of food, cloth, and tools to the people who worked their land. Other rumors come from more recent eras, when employers would gift their servants with a little box of food or money on this day. Regardless of how it came about, the holiday is just as big as America’s Black Friday, although arguably more civil.

So what exactly does one do on Boxing Day? Take your pick of the two biggest day-after-Christmas pastimes!

Go Shopping!

But do your research – are you after high-ticket electronics, or are you more interested in piling up those discount Christmas decorations for next year? You’ll want to browse circulars online ahead of time and get in early (some people sit outside in line in the wee hours) particularly for those big ticket items. For after-Christmas paraphernalia sales, you can hit the big box stores a little later in the day – those items don’t go quite as fast. Don’t forget online shopping – Amazon as well as most other major retailers has specific Boxing Day sales, so you’ll want to work cyber-spending into your schedule. Here are some other helpful tips:

  • Sign up for email or text alerts from your favorite stores – this will give you the one up on the best deals.
  • Know which stores open when. In some territories, stores are closed on the 26th and do their sales on the 27th. Knowing is half the battle.
  • Don’t buy what you don’t need. It’s all too easy to get sucked in, but in the end you’re probably not going to actually use that fluffy pink toilet paper roll cover.
  • Eat! Doing heavy-duty, crowd-fighting shopping is so much less enjoyable on an empty stomach.

Watch Sports

If you’re a Brit, expect horse racing and football (or as Yankees call it, soccer). In Australia, it’s time to dial up some cricket, and the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race fires up that day as well. In Canada it’s football, and also watch out for ice hockey (of course). On December 26th, the Spengler Cup invitational hockey tourney begins in Davos, Switzerland, hosting Team Canada among others.

Whichever “sport” you choose to participate in on Boxing Day, it’s sure to be a rousing good time. Reheat some turkey, pour a glass of wine, and enjoy the holiday that follows the holiday!