Yes America, there isn’t a Boxing Day…at least not in the United States. Boxing Day is a holiday, usually celebrated the day after Christmas. Many countries observe the day, such as in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and several other countries in the Commonwealth of Nations that have a significant Christian population. However, the holiday is not recognized by the United States of America.
Boxing Day, similar to many holidays, American or not, has either a double purpose or has lost its true meaning if you ask some people. Boxing Day was originally the day that servants and the lower class would get a day off (since they usually worked on Christmas) and would receive gifts from the upper class in boxes. So similar to the day that precedes it, it was a gift giving day. It has eventually transformed to where nowadays, it is widely known as a day where retailers sell goods at discounted prices and a significant amount of shopping is done. For those of us in America, it would be if our Black Friday were a federal holiday.
The original American colonist brought over many customs from England, as they were still English citizens. But tensions with the British rose and American became more secular and Americanized, some of those traditions were either modified with American versions or dropped altogether. Even Christmas was not immune to this as it was in danger of becoming non-existent in America in the late 1700s to the early 1800s. Over the years, Americans saw growth in popularity of many aspects of the holiday season. Our own Thanksgiving day, Black Friday, Christmas Eve, and New Years Eve were all days that had special meaning to many Americans, if not for its special meaning but for the joy and fellowship it brought. There are other traditions in America like Santa Claus, American football (and other sports), and things in the American media which are also widely popular in America. All of which could have contributed to America not having a Boxing Day, as it doesn’t carry much significance in comparison.
But as Boxing Day is known for a popular day for shopping at discounted rates, even though not recognized by American, the day is still quite the shopping day in America. Its a day where malls and stores are packed with people returning gifts, using gift cards, or looking for those post-Christmas deals. This year, retailers were eager to get shoppers back because sales prior to Christmas were the lowest in decades.
Not for nothin’, but Americans shouldn’t feel bad for not being included in a holiday that many of the other first world countries partake in. How many of you actually work or go to school on the day after Christmas anyway? In many ways its still celebrated the same way. Besides, we have Thanksgiving and they don’t.