I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Friday, 10 December 2010

Boxing Day Madness

I was doing some Christmas shopping in town yesterday. Chatting to an assistant in a branch of a well known high street chain, she told me ruefully that she would have to work on Boxing Day. Boxing Day! I was horrified. I would never dream of going shopping on Boxing Day.It's the day after Christmas. It's a public holiday. It's a day for relaxing, for entertaining, for visiting family and friends, for doing a million happy things which don't include working, buying and selling. Year on year more and more shops are opening on Boxing Day. I vote we start a movement to boycott all shopping on Boxing Day, so that shops will be forced to close through lack of trade. Commerce on Boxing Day? No thanks! (Increasingly, many stores are opening on Christmas Day too.) 

10 comments:

Friko said...

I'm in!

Boxing day in Germany is traditionally the day you visit extended family - as the first day, Christmas Day itself, is reserved entirely for close family.

It is like going to the DIY shops at Easter and doing the decorating. Dear Walker, I despair. Or maybe I'm just getting old.

Old Winter said...

They are probably just glad they dont have to work two jobs on Boxing day.

George said...

Ah, we live in the Age of Commerce. Without trying to make a theological point, I recall with fondness that period in which all shops, with the possible exception of pharmacies, remained closed on Sundays. Everyone, regardless of his or her station and economic circumstances, is entitled to a little time for rest, reflection, and relaxation.

Phreerunner said...

Surely you have to move with the times. I remember my kids delighting in being able to work on Boxing Day and being paid double time. Shopping is a National Pastime, however reluctant some of us may be to join in; we may prefer to go for a walk - another national pastime.
Whilst the retail world has people working on Bank Holidays these days, professional firms now seem to be making employees take the whole week off as part of their annual leave. I recall working during that period, even over the holiday, when I had no family commitments, freeing up time to enjoy the mountains on days with more light.
This year Boxing Day is for a family gathering (apart from those wastrels in the Barmy Army!).
Have a great Christmas - just because the shops will be open doesn't mean that you have to go to them!

ksam said...

I agree Robert!! Here in the US it's Thanksgiving day. It used to be the one day when regardless of creed, nationality whatever....everyone stopped and had a day off and enjoyed family and/or friends...and a good meal...now many stores are open on Thanksgiving to jumpstart the holiday shopping season! I too refuse to budge and simply will not set foot in any of those stores that are open then. Not that I'm a big spender, but if more people did...perhaps they'd stop?? Probably not but at least I feel better about it.

Green Witch said...

Sadly Boxing Day in Canada is the same way. It used to be everything was closed and we spent Boxing Day relaxing, eating left-overs and playing with our presents...and being thankful. In today's world of technology, we're always "on" and we've lost the ability to be quiet, relax and just "be."

Vagabonde said...

I just came over to visit your blog. Here, in the USA, this year, they started working on Thanksgiving Day, not the next day but on the holiday itself. You added that some stores open on Christmas Day too. I am not surprised as some people like to shop 7 days a week. I think it is nice to have a peaceful day. But also, why should shops be closed on Christmas Day and not for Hanukkah, Laid and other non-Christian holidays in countries with diverse citizens? I think many people now consider Christmas a non-religious holiday – it started as a pagan holiday (the festival of Yuletide) and was adopted by the Christians, and now is returning to its pagan origins. So I am ambivalent about it.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks for all these varied comments. Some good points made. I understand what's meant about freedom, flexibility and the customs of different religions. But it just seems so right to have two days off back-to-back. (That Xmas party hangover does need a recovery day!)

fireweed meadow said...

Back in the early 90s I unfortunately did some time working retail. This was at a bookshop in a mall in Victoria, BC, probaby Canada's most civilized city . . . but anyway, all staff had to work Boxing Day and stay very late on Christmas Eve getting everything ready for the Boxing Day hordes. On the morning of Boxing Day crowds were waiting outside seeming both frantic and lost. It seemed to me they were suffering withdrawal after 24 full hours without being able to shop, Christmas day being the only day of the year when shops are closed. They were also very eager to get in the shop and cash out the gift certificates they'd been given but didn't want, and return the gifts they'd been given but didn't want and, indeed, that's what we did for most of the day - how's that for an exercise in futility?

The Solitary Walker said...

What do they say - that most Christmas presents are actually unwanted (wrong size, wrong shape, wrong colour, wrong make or whatever)? The best gifts are always those given in a true spirit of love and sensitivity from a giver who knows and understands the receiver, and who has chosen the gift with care and imagination. So many present-givers buy for others what THEY would like, without considering what the recipient would like.