Thursday, December 18, 2008

Boxing Day Already?

I was out doing some last minute holiday shopping today, and already there are signs posted promoting Boxing Day.

Boxing Day is a Canadian tradition, held the day after Christmas Day, as a discount day, when stores slash prices to get rid of all their excess stock that didn’t sell prior to the Christmas shopping rush. Although Boxing Day was traditionally only one day – December 26 – for some time now, it has often been celebrated for a whole week by retailers. This way, they can have a week-long sale.

I remember the stories when I was a kid you’d hear about on the news, about people lining up in front of stores over night, so they were guaranteed first dibs on anything on sale on Boxing Day. People would sleep in tents, on sleeping bags, on the sidewalk, waiting for the doors to open. The lines would be huge, often stretching around the corner, and down several city blocks.

These days, I’ve always avoided Boxing Day sales – the deals may be great, but the atmosphere isn’t. Maybe it’s the specific class of people that go out of their way to save a couple of bucks off of something they may never have needed in the first place, or maybe it’s just our society in general – but Boxing Day shoppers are rude.

They push through you as if you don’t exist. If someone accidentally steps on your toes, the person who did the stepping either ignores you, or blames you for being in the way. There have been numerous reports in the past of fights, stabbings, even all out riots, as hoards of people cram into malls and other stores, all vying for the few bargains that line the shelves.

At this time of year, it isn’t unusual to see signs in stores promoting the Boxing Day sales to come. But what is unusual, probably because of the recession we are in, is to be promoting Boxing Day sales on now.

That’s exactly what I saw, as I did some last minute shopping. Lots of stores claiming their prices have already been slashed.

Christmas is the most important time of the year for most retail stores. This is the time of the year where they make the majority of their sales – if they don’t make enough sales, come the late winter or early spring, they will be out of business. So during a recession, it makes sense for these stores to try whatever they can, to ensure their survival.

Though these early savings have also brought out the beasts which savagely shop during Boxing Day. Although I was just browsing, taking my time, trying to find ideas for add-ons to my gifts, I was pushed, prodded and pulled through the crowds by these animals.

And animals is what they really are – because human beings have manners – and these individuals certainly lacked those.

People don’t push, poke and prod, they don’t shove and they certainly don’t walk right through you, as if you weren’t there. That is the behaviour of barn yard animals, or worse, wild boars.

Maybe Boxing Day is the equivalent to feeding time for the lower class boars that celebrate Boxing Day – and all those red price tags cause them to get antsy and charge?

Maybe we should change the name from Boxing Day to Fight Day, or Wild Boar Day, or even just call it F*cking After Christmas Sale Day – because that’s how I felt during this so-called pre-Boxing Day.

I hope those wild boars which brushed right through me as if I wasn’t there got the savings they were after, because I’d hate to see them – and worse their attitudes – if they hadn’t.

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