Black Friday vs. Boxing Day
So I am going to finally put to rest these two pinnacles of consumerism.
Black Friday – Interestingly enough, the origins of this name make good sense; it was the idea of companies going from being in the “red” to being in the “black;” turning a profit. This is the biggest shopping day in the US with most major retail stores opening at 5am. Nearly 135 million American’s participate in this event and has also become the unofficial beginning of the Christmas season.
So what I never told my US friends, was that every black Friday morning I would wake up at 4am, throw on some clothes, go to Starbucks (which opened at 4:30am), get my cup of Joe, drive to Target and weasel my way to the front line. Turns out, most people don’t question you if you push through the line, appearing to be moving towards someone you know. I never knew what was on sale, never really went in with the intent of purchase, but rather just to witness complete insanity.
Have you ever seen that game show in the grocery store where they grab carts and run up and down the isles tossing everything within reach into the basket? Black Friday morning is the real-life version. You have never seen a greater look of panic on employees eyes than the faces of the Target employees right before they unlock the doors at 4:59am. The manager flipped the switch and bolted, the doors flew open and like a pack of wild animals that hadn’t seen food in days these local Lynchburgians toppled over each other trying to get to items that they believe the need. Much like this:
I had to call my dad once he got to work and tell him what I witnessed, “Dad, American’s are INSANE.”
Boxing Day – So this is new information, even to me, and my source is Wiki; but according to them: it is a bank and public holiday in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Ghana, Switzerland, Germany, Greenland, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Nigeria, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica and countries in the Commonwealth of Nations with a mainly Christian population. In South Africa this public holiday is now known as the Day of Goodwill. But Boxing Day isn’t an American holiday, though rumor has it some of you recognize this day? The tradition actually goes back to the middle ages; but later it became the day where the more fortunate would give the things they no longer needed to the less fortunate the day after Christmas. Today, it is a day where retail companies reduce their prices to clear out inventory.
Every Boxing day, it has been tradition in my immediate family to wake up and go shopping. Canadian’s are a little more civilized. Most stores don’t open until 8am, but a few of the American chains, like Best Buy, have their chains opening at 6am. We were at our outlet mall by 8:10 and though the parking lot was already filling the mall had people milling about. Most Canadians are extremely polite, if I was knocked by anyone in a store there was a genuine “I’m so sorry.”
There are some incredible deals here, but most of us are willing to wait until noon to go out and get them. This year, I have stocked up on bras; the Victoria Secret Canadian counterpart – La Sanza – had them for $6 each!! Regardless, our national shopping day is radically different from the one I experience in the US!
I am hoping this puts to rest some of the inquiries on both sides about these colossal shopping days! I survived another this year, in both countries 🙂
How was your Boxing day?