Americans moving to London often ask London relocation agents what Boxing Day is all about considering the US does not observe the holiday. Whereas the origin of the day is a little murky the day has been a British traditional holiday since the mid nineteenth century. Boxing Day, December 26th, is also the Feast of St. Stephen which many consider to be the origin of the holiday although today it is considered a secular holiday.
One theory is that the name of the holiday originated from the practice of collecting items for the needy in boxes beginning during the Middle Ages. Even further back in history was the practice of churches collecting goods in metal boxes during the Feast of St. Stephen. In 1871 England officially added Boxing Day as a Bank Holiday (official nationally celebrated holiday).
Today, Boxing Day is a day for shopping. Americans in London due to corporate relocation compare it to the US’s black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. December 26th, the day after Christmas is when most British retailers hope to draw extraordinary crowds with giant savings. With the day being a Bank Holiday most people are not working and have the ability to shop.
Americans moving to London during the holiday season often feel overwhelmed. Since most London relocation services recommend bringing only essential items from the states there is much to buy once a family is settled. Boxing Day is a perfect day for American families to venture out into London’s shops to grab great steals on all kinds of products.
Much like in the states most retailers have begun offering Boxing Day specials for an entire week rather than just on Boxing Day in an effort to reduce the crowds at retailers across the country. Crowds got to be such a problem that many were injured or killed vying for the perfect item at a perfect price. Cyber Boxing Day has also risen in popularity over the past several years. Cyber Boxing Day is the British equivalent of Cyber Monday in the states and many British stores have amped up their advertising to draw higher sales via the internet and online shopping further reducing overcrowding in stores.
Even though it can be intimidating to navigate a crowd on Boxing Day, Americans who find themselves living in London due to international relocation should embrace their new culture and join the ranks in shops and stores across the city.