Why’s it called Boxing Day?

Boxing Day is football day. It is the day of left over turkey and chips. The day of working out how all your new presents work and not moving from the sofa. Oh, and there is the little matter of the sales! But why is Boxing Day called as such? The Telegraph explain and give you a nudge towards those sales…

Where did Boxing Day get its name?

Boxing Day is traditionally the day when people in the service industry would receive a “Christmas box” from their employers.


It takes place on the day after Christmas, December 26, because these people would usually be working on Christmas Day. The boxes would be full of presents, money or food to take home to their families.

More recently, it has become a day for shopping as retailers knock prices across their stock leftover from the Christmas gift-buying period.

What are the best Boxing Day deals?


The online retail giant, which is known to have a liberal approach to the concept of a “day”, is kicking off its Boxing Day deals early and running them until December 31. Last year, its sale started at 4pm on Christmas Day.

If you can’t wait until then to bag your bargains, Amazon is running daily discounts and flash deals, such as:

• 31pc off this Epson EB-S04 SVGA 3000 Lumens 3 LCD Portable Projector, now £179.99

• 52pc off this Bissell Cleanview Proheat Carpet Cleaner, now £144.99

• 49pc this Marvel Spiderman Clothing Set, now £18.49


Last year, Debenhams kicked off its Boxing Day sale with 50pc off online on Christmas Eve, launching deals in store from 7am on 26 December.

In the mean time, the department store is currently offering 30pc off as part of its “Christmas extravaganza”, with toys and games at up to half price. Current deals include:

Mondo Motors Ultradrone X12.0 Ball, 30pc off to £28

Lands’ End regatta leather bucket bag, 30pc off to £168

Home Collection Chester bedding set, 50pc off to £30 – £46.50


Last year, Harrods rolled out a red carpet at 8.30am and entertained its queuing customers with mince pies and hot chocolate. Online sales started the evening before and ran until mid-January. The Knightsbridge store had sold out of some of its most popular designer items by lunch time on Boxing Day.

Shoppers are entertained as they queue outside Harrods in KnightsbridgeShoppers are entertained as they queue outside Harrods in Knightsbridge  Photo: Rick Findler/PA

This year, expect even more festive cheer. Harrods is partnering with Elf the Musical and wlil feature a cast performance before doors open. Here’s hoping they provide snacks from the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.

Will Ferrell stars in ElfWill Ferrell stars in Elf  Photo: New Line/Everett / Rex Features

John Lewis

Last year, the department store knocked 50pc off many products, including furniture, while toys were sold at a 30pc discount.

The online sale started at 5pm on Christmas Eve but stores (excluding Trafford Centre) were not open until 27 December and this year looks to be the same set-up.

Until then, John Lewis is running a “12 Days of Christmas Surprises” promotion, offering new deals every day between 5 and 16 December.


Next was one of the big winners last year, with customers queuing overnight on Christmas for serious discounts: see photographic evidence below.

The retailer has not yet revealed details of its Boxing Day deals this year, but is currently running a clearance sale with most items – including furniture, fashion and designer brands – half price or less.

Bargain hunters burst in shop for Boxing Day salesBargain hunters pour into a Next on Boxing Day

Shoppers rush to snap up bargains during the Boxing Day salesA shopper at WestQuay in Southampton has at least five packed Next bags  Photo: Matt Alexander/PA


The Oxford Street flagship branch usually opens its doors at 9am on Boxing Day to throngs of people waiting on the street.

Shoppers queue up outside Selfrdiges department store in London ahead of the annual Boxing Day salesShoppers queue up outside Selfridges on the morning of Boxing Day 2014  Photo: Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images

Shoppers usually start queuing from the wee hours to get their hands on the luxury department store’s best bargains, and that’s been happening for decades.

If you love to shop, you should definitely check out our Retail Skills courses available to you at The Sheffield College this Christmas and get yourself one step ahead in shopping stakes!



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