Boxing Day

by Dee


Scotland Series
Post #8

Boxing Day means shopping day—perhaps not only for Anne and me but for thousands of other people. I was introduced to the concept and tradition of Boxing Day during my stay in Britain. Read more on what’s it all about…

The Christmas Shop

Boxing and Shopping

At first, I didn’t know what the hey is Boxing Day—a day of boxing as a sport? Well, I couldn’t be more wrong. It has nothing to do with sports whatsoever, but it has everything to do with your wallet. Anne and I started a little bit early on Boxing Day cause we had a thought perhaps we could spend half a day visiting Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian and spend the other half participating in the tradition that is Boxing Day. But… the bus never came. 

We waited for an hour at a bus stop at Lothian Road for a bus that’s said will pass by every fifteen minutes towards Rosslyn. The bus never came! So we quickly diverted our plan and started our Boxing Day as soon as the shops were open. Princes Street was the playground, and there were hundreds of shops to pick.

When you dare to think that I didn’t read up on what Boxing Day is, you don’t know me that well. Of course, I did some reading. Boxing Day is apparently a relatively new tradition established during the reign of Regina Victoria when she included December 26, the day after Christmas, in Bank Holidays Act in 1871. 

It’s good that I know of this Act now, so there won’t be any mishap where I sit alone in front of the Department of Archaeology building with no one to open the door cause it’s Bank Holiday. That ought to be funny, yes, but also would be highly embarrassing. 

Bank Holidays Act would then be repealed in 1971 and replaced with the Banking and Financial Dealings Act of 1971, which is still in force today. The word ‘boxing’ actually came from the tradition of when the lords of the manors would distribute gift boxes to their employees and then gave them a day off on December 26. The maids and butlers would then go back to their respective homes carrying boxes of presents to their families—hence ‘boxing day’.

I, of course, stopped by Dorothy Perkins—my favourite—and bought some stuff with a crazy discount rate. The familiar household names such as Debenhams and Zara and nearly all the stores were flooded with people. I remembered that I had to wait outside Zara and left Anne queuing at the till because it was my limit for a crowded place. 

I think we survived the shopping madness after two or three hours. We swivelled through a quieter part of Princes Street and sat down to get some caffeine at Caffe Nero as we went through our prized treasures we obtained from the shopping. Another slow day for us and tomorrow we will head out to Glasgow by train.

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