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youngandthrifty talks about the origins of boxing day and how to avoid the boxing day hangover. With the cyber version of boxing day it has been harder than ever to avoid temptation

I used to be a huge huge fan of Boxing Day (not to the point where I would start lining up at 7pm on Christmas day in order to score a flat screen TV) when I was younger, but for me, it has lost its lustre.  I think part of it is the realization that most of the merchants just put out their crap leftover from the previous year and try and sell it at deep (and lately I find, not so deep) discounts.

Uh… What’s Boxing Day?

For those of you that don’t know what Boxing Day is (which is basically anyone NOT from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, or Canada), according to Wikipedia, it occurs on December 26 and its origin is said to be from the Roman era where the more well-to-do place boxes of goodies outside the Churches for those less fortunate.

Why is it Bad?

Now it has become a mass frenzy of consumerism (an extension of the associated Christmas consumerism of course).  Not only do you have Boxing Day where people line up at insane hours of the day just to wait to be the first one to get the 1 of 5 available $899 50″ flat screen television, you get Boxing Week too, which basically is Boxing Day for the entire week.  It’s a sign for the public to BUY BUY BUY and… not stop buying.

It’s now EVEN EASIER (which is scary for me because I hate line ups) to participate in Boxing Day.  You can do it from the safety of your own home (without having the brave the mad crowd) by participating in the Cyber version of Boxing Day.  I find this much more dangerous than shopping in person because you don’t have to wait in line, you don’t have to get dressed and brave the cold, and you don’t have to find parking.

How to Avoid the Boxing Day Hangover?

In the past when I shopped on Boxing Day, I would line up for hours to go to my favourite clothing shops.  Most of the clothes I bought were then final sale (because they were on sale) and I was unable to return them.  I often got a Boxing Day hangover from them, unfortunately.

As the years pass (and I’m getting older, more rickety, and scrooge-like), I find myself not interested in braving the crowds, the traffic, the trouble finding parking just for a few dollars off of an item.  Unless there is something I really need, I don’t think I will bother anymore.  I just don’t have the patience to make the effort to wake up earlier (especially if I’m hungover from eggnog or home made Baileys) to stand in line like I used to.

I must confess, I got a Cyber Monday hangover (Cyber Monday is usually after American Thanksgiving) and ended up splurging $38 (which I thought was a good deal at the time) on a dress, a romper (which apparently is a big craze right now), and some socks from Forever 21.  Yes, I was too lazy to go to my local mall and shop at Forever 21 just because there was free shipping and they had a 70% off clearance.  All my usual sizes for the dress and romper were gone but I thought I’d try one size up instead, because I usually have no trouble going one size up.  I measured using measuring tape (though I didn’t do it with much effort, I must say).  Unfortunately, when the item came and I tried it on, the romper was way too big.  It was also a huge hassle to return it in the mail so I decided to let it sit in my closet.  I thought I was smart by saving $20 on something that was usually $34, but I wasted $14 instead.  I got a bad case of the Boxing Day (or in this case, Cyber Monday) hangover.  🙁

How to Avoid the Boxing Day Hangover?

To me, the best way to avoid creating the shopping addiction is to avoid shopping in the first place.  Don’t allow temptation to set in because temptation will most likely win (just like if you’re going on a diet, don’t walk by a delicious frosted cupcakes shop when you’re hungry).  Instead, just avoid Boxing Day in general and you should be fine.  This also means avoiding going online to check out the online deals available (though I must say, this is much harder!).

To avoid online temptation, perhaps writing a sticky note on your computer to remind yourself to NOT shop online for items that might be hard to gauge the fit (e.g. dresses, pants, suits) despite being non-lazy and whipping out measuring tape.  I’ll try it this year and will let you know how it goes.

Readers, do you shop on Boxing Day (in person or online?)?  Do you ever get the Boxing Day Hangover if you do go out shopping?

Article comments


This mirrors my feelings exactly on Boxing Day this year. I finally had to take a step back and ask, “Do I really need more stuff?” Obviously the answer was no. As you pointed out, I found the deals severely lacking relative to the pre-Christmas USA deals.

young says:

@MUM- Yeah, I wonder why Boxing Day sucks compared to Black Friday? It would be interesting to do a “savings comparison” between the two to see which one has better deals.

I do not believe in that “boxing”. Better search the Internet and find out the same thing there and buy it whenever you want for a “boxing low price”.

Was I game? Nah. We drove to a shopping area but after seeing the crowds decided to go feed some squirrels instead. 😉

young says:

@Invest it Wisely- I like that you had a backup plan 🙂 Crowds are such a turn off for me. I was reading in the paper that more and more boxing day/ xmas shopping is done online. I’m one of those people for sure. I like shopping from the comfort of my own home. No crowds, people, or crankiness.

Aloysa says:

I saw this morning on the news a fight between shoppers in the Mall of America. I was thinking “Serious, people? Is that what you worth?” I am staying away from stores and angry shoppers. 🙂

young says:

@Aloysa- Yeah, I think one year someone got trampled to death because of the crowds. People can be so dangerous..!

I wasn’t familiar to Boxing Day prior to reading this article. I’m aware that there are big discounts here in the US too, but it’s not very tempting. When I need or anticipate an upcoming need for something, that’s when I’ll be purchasing. I guess that’s my strategy.

young says:

@Roshawn- There are big sales after christmas in the US as well? Are the “deals” better on Blck Friday or Boxing Day?

jim syyap says:

We tried boxing day the first two years after we moved here in nz. It’s just a glorified after christmas sale. Except for cheap junk I wouldn’t want in my house, not much else is on sale.

young says:

@Jim syyap- Yup, you’re absolutely right. Glorified after christmas sale full of stuff you don’t want in your house because it is probably tacky.

Nick says:

Excellent read.

I picked up a MoneySense the other day, and I’ve been looking through their All-Stars for 2011-2012. They show Alimentation Couche-Tard, Atco, CCL Industries, Domtar, E-L Financial, Empire, Industral Alliance Ins. , Magellan Aerospace and Uni-Select as their top picks for 2012.

As I am a student with not much cash kicking around, how can I invest in these stocks? Is there a website where I can purchase these stocks with no minimum board lot? Is there a mutual fund or index which holds the majority of these?

Thanks! Happy Holidays.