Lining up in Melbourne
In the English speaking world outside the USA, it is the biggest shopping day of the year. In Australia they were lined up at 4:45 AM, waiting for the stores to open. Boxing Day traditionally was the day that the rich would provide for their servants, perhaps boxing up the leftovers; The Regina Leader-Post defines it differently.
As the name implies, Boxing Day is a day of battle. A day of blood and sweat, when regular people turn into gladiators in an arena of consumer combat, all fighting desperately for a cheap plasma TV or a good deal on a bedroom suite.
Lining up in London
They even provide instructions in how to succeed:
Abandon Your Team If Necessary -- Though traditional survivalist wisdom is that you don't leave a member of the team behind, there are many shopping situations where it is necessary to cut someone loose. If your grandma is spending too long looking at socks, leave her there and don't look back. If your daughter is taking too long in the changeroom, go on ahead without her. It may sound harsh, but on Boxing Day, it's every shopper for themselves.
Lining up in freezing Sudbury
However, unlike Americans on Black Friday after Thanksgiving, we already have our presents. Perhaps we should return to the old Boxing Day traditions; if we got a new sweater, take an old one to the Goodwill. If we got a new digital camera, Freecycle the old one to someone who needs one. But spending the day lining up to fight for bargains? Take a pass and making this the International Buy Nothing Day.
More on Buy Nothing Day
Buy Nothing Day doesn't mean living less.
Buy Nothing Day 2008 Has a Hollow Ring