Social Question

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

US jellies, do you use the term "Boxing Day" to refer to the day after Christmas?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (33507points) December 23rd, 2012

I’ve heard more and more of my friends using the term Boxing Day this year. It’s odd, and I wonder why it seems to be happening?

Here’s an explanation of what Boxing Day is, if you don’t know.

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37 Answers

augustlan's avatar

I don’t. Probably Anglophiles do. :)

Berserker's avatar

Do you guys in the US have a whole bunch of deals and liquidations going on in stores on December 26th? We have that up in Canada, and it happens in a few other places. If you guys do have that on that date, I guess that’s why…although as far as I know, America has Black Friday, which is essentially the same thing, but occurring around Thanksgiving. Your Wiki article doesn’t say that America participates in this on December 26.

And again, according to your Wiki link, it has an actual source, maybe that’s why people call it that, or maybe some stores in America have begun to adopt the practice?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Symbeline I brought it up, because a number of my friends around here have started to call December 26th Boxing Day, and this seems to be recent, I don’t remember hearing it in past years.

Yes, we have loads of special sales at the stores after Christmas. The day after our Thanksgiving is indeed called Black Friday, but we’ve never had a special term for December 26th before.

Berserker's avatar

Hmm…well, I don’t know if I can call it ’‘official’’, but as your link says this is observed in many countries, and has its own name. So if you guys have more or less the same deal up in America, it’s almost inevitable that the name it already has be adopted to your country, especially if it’s a growing thing. How long you guys had this going on in America? If you have had this forever, was there ever a term for it?

I’m guessing that based on it’s origin, it only makes sense to call it boxing day, to fit with ’‘Christmas Box’’. Mind you I have no idea who first started the modern practice. :/

cookieman's avatar

Nope. I usually refer to it as “Not Getting Out of Bed Day” or “Thank God That’s Over Day”.

downtide's avatar

I was referring to Boxing Day with an American friend this year and she had no idea what I was talking about.

jrpowell's avatar

We used to sacrifice the Christmas except for stocking stuffers. We could save the cash and get twice as many Lego, Transformers, and Barbie dolls the day after.

FutureMemory's avatar

Although many know it as a historical factoid, it’s definitely not in the popular lexicon.

glacial's avatar

Huh, I had no idea that Americans didn’t use this term. It seems kind of weird to me that it hasn’t been picked up (or at least recognized) down there after so many years.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Christmas is un-boxing day (well, actually un-wrapping day), so the day after is Boxing Day when we take everything to the post office or the store to do returns.

No, none of my acquaintances use the term Boxing Day.

mangeons's avatar

I’ve never called it that, and I haven’t really heard anyone around here call it that either.

bookish1's avatar

I know what it means, but I never say it, nor have I ever observed it. Far more French than Britishisms in my daily lexicon ;)

bkcunningham's avatar

I know the definition of Boxing Day, but I’ve never heard any of my American friends refer to or celebrate December 26 as Boxing Day.

What are your friends’ backgrounds, @Hawaii_Jake? Maybe that will explain why they use the term.

Coloma's avatar

It’s not boxing day, it’s my birthday!!!
I did come out a fighter, scrappy little thing I am. :-D

Nullo's avatar

My dad started using it because it was different and fun. I like it because the term makes me think of this guy.

gasman's avatar

I only became aware of that term in recent years, never having heard of it growing up in the US, starting in the 1950s. I still don’t ever hear it at work or among friends, and rarely see reference to Boxing Day even in mainstream US media outlets like CNN or NY Times or USA Today. It just doesn’t seem to be part of the national culture or conversation. A weak meme lol.

ucme's avatar

It derives from ye olde englandia times when servants were given xmas boxes from their masters…hence the term Boxing Day.
I wonder what the bounders bought for the saucy maids below stairs, perhaps some sexy lingerie or maybe a new feather duster.

TinyChi's avatar

I heard of it, but I never knew what it was.
I always thought it had to do with like the sport or something.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

To answer @bkcunningham my friends are a mixed cosmopolitan bunch. Perhaps that explains it, but what I found very curious was I heard it from a friend who I would never have thought of as cosmopolitan. I’ve heard it from a few passing strangers on the street, too.

tinyfaery's avatar

Nope. Most people work the day after x-mas. I call it December 26th.

YARNLADY's avatar

No, we don’t, although I’ve heard of the term.

bkcunningham's avatar

Cosmopolitan friends. I like that image.

zenvelo's avatar

Nope. It gets confused with st Stephen’s Day.

janbb's avatar

Only have heard it in England. Maybe if you are hearing it is a result of Dowton Abbeyitus!

dabbler's avatar

You call it that one more time and I’ll have to smack you with a big padded glove.

burntbonez's avatar

I’m familiar with the term. I don’t really notice people using it.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Boxing Day is very British and very non-North-American. I know the term, but I’m not very familiar with its meaning. I have this mental image of people in a boxing ring, duking it out over whatever happened on Christmas day. Or, maybe people sitting around and putting all sorts of things in packages.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@PaulSadieMartin “Very non-North-American”? I think our Canadian jellies would heartily disagree with you there.

JLeslie's avatar

I have never heard an American use the term.

Boxing Day is not really the same as Black Friday in America. The 26th has much deeper discounts on a lot of items than Black Friday, and Christmas items like lights, fake trees, trim, wrapping paper, candy are usually 50% off. In retail we just call it the day after Christmas.

In some countries they won’t take returns on Boxing Day from what I understand. Maybe someine can verify that. In America the 26th is a huge return and exchange day.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

I use the term, “thank god it’s over day” to refer to the day after Christmas.

amujinx's avatar

I’ve used it, but my mom is English. I’ve never heard any other Americans use it, but I’m close enough to Canada to have heard it from Canadians and from Canadian commercials many times.

SABOTEUR's avatar

So that’s what Boxing Day means!

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Isn’t Boxing Day also known as St. Stephen’s Day?

JLeslie's avatar

@PaulSadieMartin It is St. Stephen’s day, but do you mean people use that term to refer to the hectic shopping done that day? Or, just that it is a saint’s day?

gailcalled's avatar

” ...In many countries December 26 commemorates the life of St. Stephen, a Christian deacon in Jerusalem who was known for his service to the poor and his status as the first Christian martyr (he was stoned to death in ad 36).

In the United Kingdom and some Commonwealth countries, the December 26 holiday is commonly known as Boxing Day, which takes its name from the practice of giving small gifts to household servants on that day for their work throughout the year. In Ireland the holiday is sometimes called Wren Day, because in the past a wren would be killed and taken door-to-door by children asking for money in exchange for a wren’s feather, which people believed brought good luck. The tradition of going house-to-house on St. Stephen’s Day survives in many countries, especially in Scandinavia, where the day is observed by visiting friends and going to parties.”


Nothing remotely related to shopping frenzies.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@JLeslie I doubt that anyone in the U.S. refers to December 26th as St. Stephen’s Day. I know the term from:

Good King Wencelas looked out,
on the Feast of Stephen…

Many years ago, I asked a priest or minister what’s meant by “Feast of Stephen.” He explained that it’s December 26th and also called “St. Stephen’s Day” or “the second day of Christmas.” But, aside from the famous Christmas song, I’ve never heard any of those terms used in popular culture.

JLeslie's avatar

@PaulSadieMartin I agree. I have never heard it used in America.

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