You may have been celebrating Boxing Day for decades without actually knowing what it stands for.
Observed annually on December 26 in Canada, the U.K. and Commonwealth countries around the world, Boxing Day was traditionally the day employers would give their staff Christmas presents, called "boxes," to celebrate the season. But since the day after Christmas is now usually a statutory holiday, in our modern society, we now often give those boxes to ourselves.
Or at least that's one way of looking at this longtime tradition, which has been noted for centuries. There's no exact definition of Boxing Day, though some tie it to British servants who helped their lords and ladies with Christmas dinner and literally took home boxes (and got a day off) the next day. Samuel Pepys noted the existence of such boxes in his diary in 1663.
In Canada, as well as the U.K. and Australia, December 26 is now better known as a day for scooping up shopping deals, similar to Black Friday in the U.S. Most stores open their doors early and discount prices on items ranging from clothing to technology to appliances. In recent years, some shops have started their sales even before Christmas has begun, hoping for more spending from customers.
In other countries, December 26 has taken on a different name. In Germany, Poland, Scandinavia and the Netherlands, it's known as Second Christmas Day, simply extending the holiday for an extra day. In Ireland, they celebrate St. Stephen's Day, or the Day of the Wren, participating in parades in masks and suits.
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The Details: Dec. 24-26 What You Get: Take an extra 30 per cent off on all items and <a href="http://www.callitspring.com/ca-eng/handbags" target="_blank">receive free shipping when you spend $50. </a>
The Details: Dec. 24-26 What You Get: Take an extra <a href="http://www.aldoshoes.com/ca-eng" target="_blank">30 per cent off everything and save up to 50 per cent on selected items. </a>
The Details: Dec. 25-26 What You Get: Up to 70 per cent off selected fashion items. Shipping online is $1 and discounted prices are included for shirts, dresses, skirts and sweaters.
The Details: Dec. 25 What You Get: A pre-boxing day sale, get up to <a href="http://www.gapcanada.ca/browse/home.do?ssiteID=ON_CA&tid=goafca1&ap=2&siteID=gocacid43" target="_blank">50 per cent off on winter fashions and 60 per cent off in stores. </a>
The Details: Dec. 26 What You Get: All <a href="https://www.adidas.ca/on/demandware.store/Sites-adidas-CA-Site/en_CA/Account-Show" target="_blank">Adidas backstage members</a> get access up to 50 per cent off on selected items.
The Details: Dec. 26-27 What You Get: Take 25 per cent off your entire purchase with this coupon from <a href="http://coupons.bargainmoose.ca/eccocanada.com#view_coupon_39773" target="_blank">Bargain Moose. </a>
The Details: Dec. 26 What You Get: Up to 70 per cent on selected items both in stores and online and free shipping when you spend $50.
The Details: Dec. 26 at 7 a.m. What You Get: <a href="http://www.holtrenfrew.com/" target="_blank">Get 40 to 60 per cent off on all fall and winter fashion, accessories and shoes</a>. The first 100 people in store will also receive an exclusive beauty bag.
The Details: Dec. 26-31 What You Get: <a href="http://canada.forever21.com/Product/Main.aspx?br=f21" target="_blank">Highlights this year include tops from $3, skirts from $5, and sweaters and bottoms from $10 on Boxing Day.</a> Other deals include a buy one get one 50 per cent off coupon on Dec. 30 and 31 on all party dresses and 50 per cent off all outerwear and boots online.
The Details: Dec 26 What You Get: <a href="http://www.globoshoes.com/" target="_blank">Globo shoe store</a> is offering 50 per cent off on selected sales items and some stores have extended hours.
The Details: Dec 26-Jan 2 What You Get: Sweatpants and crewnecks starting at $7. And of course huge <a href="http://www.redflagdeals.com/flyers/walmart/boxing-week-dec-26-to-dec-31-2013-22885/?page=2#flyer" target="_blank">door-crashers including electronics and DVDs. </a>
Shoppers Drug Mart
The Details: Dec 26 What You Get: Up to 50 per cent off on all seasonal merchandise. Other sales include discounted perfumes, half of selected beauty products and discounted fragrance sets.
The Details: Dec 26-Jan 2 What You Get: Selected stores will open at 7 a.m. and include up to 70 per cent off on <a href="http://www.thebay.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/thebay" target="_blank">women's fashion, outwear, handbags, accessories, sleepwear and beauty products. </a>
The Details: Dec 26-Jan 2 What You Get: <a href="http://www.target.ca/en/" target="_blank">Up to 70 per cent off on everything from electronics to apparel.</a> Save up to 50 per cent on all outwear for the family and tops starting at $5.
The Details: Dec. 26-29 What You Get: Get up to 80 per cent off on red tagged items, 50 per cent of yellow and 40 per cent off white. The store is also <a href="http://www.costablanca.ca/" target="_blank">offering 30 per cent off new arrivals. </a>
The Details: Dec. 26- Jan 3 What You Get: Clearance prices on family apparel and accessories and customers can also save an additional 50 per cent off on already reduced prices if they use their Sears Financial Credit Cards. A <a href="http://www.sears.ca/virtual-catalogue/publication/8857dc98-030f-4baf-9686-0f665aafdf42?extid=122113_ca_community_en_facebook_boxingweekdec21" target="_blank">full list of deals can be found in their online flyer. </a>
The Details: Dec. 26-29 What You Get: <a href="https://www.joefresh.com/" target="_blank">Up to 70 per cent off in stores and online. Starting Dec. 26,</a> the Canadian retailer will also be having daily $10 sales for sweaters, party dresses and puffer vests. The store also has a secret item for same on Dec. 29.
The Details: Dec 26-31 What You Get: From <a href="http://www.oldnavy.ca/" target="_blank">Dec. 26 and Dec. 27, shoppers can expect a buy one get one for a loonie deal</a> and on Dec. 28 to Dec. 31, shoppers can expect up to 75 per cent off in the entire store.
The Body Shop
The Details: Dec. 26-29 What You Get: This year, The Body Shop will be donating $1 from every purchase to charities that work towards ending violence against women in Canada. Sales this season include up to 50 per cent off seasonal products and discontinued products, the whole store will be offering buy two get two free, and all gift sets will be 30 per cent off.
The Details: Now-Dec 26 What You Get: <a href="http://www.naturalizer.ca/" target="_blank">Get 20 per cent off selected clearance items</a> and up to 50 per cent on other selected items in-store and online.
The Details: Dec. 23-29 What You Get: Starting Monday, Dec., 23, shoppers can save up to 50 per cent off on <a href="http://www.amazon.ca/b/?ie=UTF8&node=6054207011" target="_blank">electronics, toys, home and kitchen tools, watches, luggage, books and movies online. </a>
The Details: Dec. 26 at 6 a.m. What You Get: <a href="http://www.lechateau.com/style/index.jsp" target="_blank">The first 100 customers to shop at its regular stores this Boxing Day at 6 a.m</a>. will receive Mystery Gift Coupons containing up to 70 per cent rebates and up to $1,000 to spend on other items.
The Details: Dec. 26 What You Get: Canadian online retailer <a href="http://www.shop.ca/" target="_blank">Shop.ca</a> will be partnering up with 100s of brands this Boxing Day including sales in electronics, fashion items and jewelry. The site will also offer free shipping.
The Details: Dec. 26-29 What You Get: Nearly 500 participating sellers across the country will offer 20 per cent off their entire shop. Featured items include hand-made products like darling wooden mobiles for boys and girls from Toronto seller pilosale, hand printed women’s stockings from Vancouver's Strathcona Stockings, and organic fair trade chocolate that's to die for from Halifax-based COCOA and HONEY. Shop <a href="https://www.etsy.com/ca/" target="_blank">here</a>.
Over The Rainbow
The Details: December 26 What You get: On Boxing Day, Over the Rainbow will have up to 50% off all merchandise and 70% off additional items. The store will be open between 8AM and 7PM, giving shoppers an additional two hours to shop for deals on all designer jeans, coats and other winter accessories. Visit their website <a href="http://www.rainbowjeans.com/" target="_blank">here</a>.
The Details: Pre Boxing day sale starts on Dec. 18 to Dec. 24 What You Get: Starting Dec. 18, shoppers can expect <a href="http://www.redflagdeals.com/flyers/marks/boxing-week-blowout-starts-now-dec-18-to-dec-24-2013-22696/?page=5#flyer" target="_blank">25 per cent off sleepwear, 30 per cent off men's knits and pullovers starting at $10. </a>
The Details: Dec. 27-28 What You Get: One-of a-kind sample suits, jackets and shirts from the eponymous bespoke tailorshop's 2013 collections will be 50%-90% off. Items up for grabs include tweed blazers, winter overcoats, summer suits and cashmere and wool suits in a wide range of styles and sizes. Appointments recommended. Visit their site <a href="http://garrisonbespoke.com/" target="_blank">here</a>.
The Details: Dec. 26 What You Get: Check out the sales at <a href="http://www.express.com/canada/?c=ca" target="_blank">express.com/canada</a>.
The Details: Dec. 23-31 What You Get: Starting Dec. 23, <a href="http://www.toms.ca/" target="_blank">shoppers can take 15 per cent their orders online</a> and receive free shipping.
The Details: Now What You Get: Links to dozens of sales happening online. Shop Online <a href="http://www.bargainmoose.ca/canada-boxing-day-sales">HERE</a>
NEXT: Items That Are Worth Standing In Line For On Boxing Day
Canada Goose Jacket
Because these babies are fairly expensive (and never seem to go on sale), we would definitely wait for hours in line surrounded by strangers.
Hudson's Bay Company Collection Coat
We love the iconic stripes and while these coats never go out of style, they never go on sale either which is why we would definitely wait in the freezing cold to get our mitts on them.
Danier Leather Jacket
Leather jackets are a dime a dozen but you won't find quality as you would at Danier. (We own a few and trust us, they're worth it.) So if we see a sale, we're there, no question.
These suckers are super handy and buttery soft so you better bet that we'll be standing in line come Boxing Day to grab one or two.
Admit it: If you knew Rolex was having a sale you would be down at the store in no time picking up a few for you and the family.
Anything At Holt Renfrew
Whenever we're rolling in cash, we stop by Holts to splurge, so imagine how rich we would feel if they had a sale? We would practically be millionaires!
Christian Louboutin Heels
Hey, a girl can dream, right?
Fashion Coffee Table Books
Coffee table books like this Alexander McQueen tome are expensive but necessary and fabulous. If they all went on sale we would live in houses made out of books.
They're timeless and always in style. We just wish they would go on sale!
Cartier Love Bracelet
If these pretty bracelets went on sale, we would pick up at least 10 for our family and close friends.
Not only do Canadians love the classic and trendy blazers but the Duchess of Cambridge herself can't get enough of the Canadian label.
There's nothing more exciting than seeing a blue box! We would totally wait for hours if one of the iconic Tiffany necklaces went on sale.
La Roche Posay Cream
It's the crème de la crème of lotions but oh-so-expensive, so if there was a Boxing Day sale at Shoppers, we would be first in line to grab a bunch of these.
We love these stylish wellies which we would wear every day if we could.
Nothing says chic like a classic quilted Chanel purse, but since their prices are out of reach for most of us, we can only dream of owning one of these babies.
Silky soft, these handmade items are coveted by everyone, including yours truly. If they went on sale, we would buy them by the dozen.
NEXT: Homemade Christmas Gifts
Share your memories with your best friend by making a quilt that has photos of all your best times together.
You can literally put anything you want on this blank slate tee, whether it be an inside joke or a photo.
Take a knitting or sewing class or find the perfect pattern to make a cozy sweater for your loved one.