It’s Boxing Day

There are bargains to be had today for Canadian shoppers. Those in Australia are getting similar deals at stores there, while in the UK people are returning unwanted gifts to the stores. That’s why they call it Boxing Day.

Americans don’t get the same shopping spree because they had Black Friday last month, possibly the biggest consumer craziness on the planet, and no-one has any money left. In Canada though, Boxing Day is still a major shopping event. That may not last many years more as Black Friday becomes increasingly popular north of the Canada/US border.

Years ago I would join the crowds, though I wouldn’t camp out overnight in line to get one of the limited quantity specials. I would get up early and walk to the electronics store across the street to be there when it opened at 6 a.m. There would usually be a couple of hundred people in line before me, but I wasn’t interested in the limited quantity items, so I didn’t have to be first one there.

The past couple of years I have been in Germany. They don’t observe Boxing Day – and even if they did there are no stores in my village.

This year though, I am in Canada on Boxing Day. I can take advantage of the sales if I want.  But I have discovered, I am not so inclined. There’s nothing I need on sale. There really isn’t anything I want either.

In a consumer culture this is tantamount to blasphemy. The economy thrives when people buy things they don’t need. Weren’t Americans told to go shopping following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks? Show the world the USA would continue its spending, no matter what the setbacks.

I will do some shopping today, but not because it is Boxing Day. Thursday is when I buy my milk for the week, because there’s a discount. I don’t think that will provide much in the way of economic stimulation though.

Instead of shopping, maybe a walk with family members, or maybe we will watch a Christmas movie together. We probably aren’t the only ones who have become bored with the artificial hype surrounding the shopping season.

Retailers don’t want to hear such things. It turns out though that there are more important things in life than shopping.

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