So today is Boxing Day. The day after Christmas where people, after consuming their body weight in pigs in blankets and mulled wine, head to the shops and lose their head over consumerist bargains. After being showered in gifts, and experiencing 24hrs of excess; excess food, excess drink, excess people and excess wind, people still feel the need to go to the shops and spend even more money, buy even more stuff, under the guise that ‘it’s a bargain’.
Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a bargain. Most of my clothes are purchases off Ebay or charity shop gems, but then I’m not what you would exactly call a ‘fashionista’. Branded clothes make my skin itch, mainly because I simply can’t fathom why two items of clothing, which are pretty much identical, can cost vastly different prices because there’s a fancy label attached. The fashion industry pulled off the biggest magic trick ever there, convincing people that it is acceptable to spend £400 on a bag that costs £40 to make. They truly must be laughing all the way to the bank.
I’ve probably mentioned it before, but I HATE shopping, more specifically, clothes shopping. Food shopping is fine, I’m in my element there, but shopping for clothes, in shopping centres is my idea of hell. I don’t mind getting new clothes, love that bit, but the browsing, trying on, queuing etc is a busy, hot, stressful environment is not fun. I remember being dragged around shops by my mum as a kid, being incredibly bored and sneaking off to hide under clothes rails and collecting the plastic size tabs. Slightly strange I know, but it was my way of coping in my own C & A nightmare. Good old C & A, whatever happened to them?!
So why is it tradition to have all these sales the day after Christmas? Once again, it’s almost like the consumer industry is having a hilarious joke at our expense. I mean, they’ve just managed to persuade society to go out and buy gifts for a load of people, most likely spending money we don’t have, so we can all not give to receive, and feel loved. So as a reward, the stuff that you bought a couple of days ago at full price, we’re now going to flaunt at half price so that you can buy it again, or buy it in a different colour. Sounds mad when you put it like that? Well it does to me.
The whole reason behind Boxing Day, is actually really quite lovely. Traditionally it was the day that employers, particularly of those in jobs such as errands boys, servants & postmen, would give a Christmas ‘box’ to their employees. Its an acknowledgment of good service throughout the year and a way to say thanks, good job people! Now I have no idea if this is still a thing anywhere in the UK, I really hope it is. I know that my mum usually gives the postman a gift (wahey!) around Christmas and our street does a collection for the bin-man. It’s a lovely gesture, but the meaning of this has been lost over the years and instead we treat ourselves to bargains at 5am in the morning, baffling really.
Anyway, as I sit here typing away, sipping a cup of tea and eating half price chocolate shortbread christmas trees, I encourage you to think twice about spending less on Boxing day and perhaps giving just that little bit more. Say thank you and really mean it when someone serves you on a bank holiday, rather than returning a christmas gift, consider donating it to charity or perhaps take some of your food left-overs to a food bank, believe me, not only does it feel really good, it really will absolutely make a difference to someone’s life.
Happy thank you to everyone that does an amazing job at life all year round Day!