Boxing Day is celebrated throughout Canada as well as in Britain, Australia and New Zealand. If you happen to be traveling in the United States, December 26th is not an official holiday. But, the crowds at the local malls might make you think otherwise. Sometimes referred to as “National Return Day” in the USA, it does have the distinction of being the second busiest shopping day of the year in that country. In Canada it is a day to indulge in leftovers, watch or play some ice hockey or, for the brave, find some last minute shopping bargains.
Origins – Smoragins
The British are credited with the origin of Boxing Day, but there are varying opinions of how the day came about. All of the tales do involve boxes of some sort. The favoured version is that the British nobility would give gifts of food and goods to their servants the day after Christmas, all packed in boxes, one per servant. Another version has the servants bringing boxes to work the day after Christmas and the nobility would put coins in those boxes. Either way it was a gift from those well off, as a thank you for services rendered. It gave the servants a chance to celebrate their Christmas the day after.
One of the most amusing tales came about in the late 1800s. A visiting Englishman happened to be in the United States over the holidays. On the day after Christmas he noted that people headed for the shops to return presents and that they were perhaps a bit overenthusiastic in their mission. Supposedly this gentleman brought the idea of “boxing day” back to England, based on the behaviour of those shoppers. The likelihood of this being the origin of Boxing Day is slim to almost none, but it is a good story.
Boxing Day and RVing
What does all this mean for those comfortably tucked away in their warm toasty motorhomes, perhaps still feeling a bit stuffed from the Christmas feast? If you’re planning on a day curled up with a favorite book and munching away at leftovers, not much. On the other hand, if you’re planning on visiting a post office or a bank, you’re out of luck. Everything is closed up tighter than the North Pole the day after the big delivery.
Malls and stores are in full swing, almost as crowded as in the United States. Do yourself a favour. Get some ready cash stashed away before Christmas and make sure your propane and gas tank are topped up. Unless you enjoy the frenzied shopping experience find that nice snugly blanket and indulge in a warm, lazy day. You can daydream about your next visit to Eldorado RV to see if a new motorhome is in your future. Best do that dreaming on a full stomach. Hot chocolate and sugar cookies anyone?