1. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Is Boxing Day Well Known to Americans?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by lostinwebspace, Apr 10, 2015.

    Just as the subject says. I'd like to know if a good percentage of Americans know what Boxing Day is. I mention it in a story. I know it's more a Canadian thing (well, British and some other nations) and want to know if Americans know about it or if it'll make sense to our southern neighbours. (Or "neighbors.) :p

    I did a quick Google search and couldn't come up with anything satisfying, so maybe I'll take a quick poll here. Or maybe someone who has better luck with Google could post a URL.

    Thanks!!
     
  2. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    *I might have confused Boxing Day with Black Friday...

    Actually, Boxing Day is more of an American thing than a Canadian one.
    Here in Canada, we do celebrate it, but it is a pale shadow of what the US version is.
    It's mostly end of the year liquidation sales, pretty good deals on a few odd items that wouldn't be "new" next year.
    It's good deals if they're selling something you want.
    Many don't go out shopping or they do it online to avoid any crowds if they care. I mean, our boxing day is more of a weekly long sale so there's usually no rush.
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I hadn't heard of Boxing Day until someone from Canada told me about it. Here in the US, we have something called Black Friday, which is the day after Thanksgiving.
     
  4. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Say what?
    Am I getting the holidays mixed up again...

    I think I am.
    I redact my entire first post >.>
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I doubt many Americans "get" Boxing Day as someone in the UK would. The US doesn't see itself as a stratified society, and even when differences in social status are recognized, they are resented, not accepted.

    Boxing Day expresses appreciation of those in the other stratum. It's a bridging of the gap, even though it's only one day out of 365.
     
  6. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Only those of us who get out of the country from time to time know what Boxing Day is.
     
  7. lustrousonion
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    lustrousonion Contributing Member

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    Most Americans probably don't know what Boxing Day is.
     
  8. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Well, I'm a Yank who has lived in Scotland for the past 29 years. I didn't know what Boxing Day was until I moved here. I'd heard of it before, from reading British literature, but had no idea what it was all about. In the USA, the day after Christmas is not a public holiday, while it is here in the UK. That was kind of nice to discover!
     
  9. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I grew up in Canada and knew about Boxing Day from birth, almost. There were always Boxing Day sales at the stores, but my family never went to them - we preferred to just stay home with the fire going and bask in the Christmas afterglow. Rum and hot chocolate, rum and eggnog, reading all the books we got as gifts, visiting friends for happy hour, coming home and stuffing our faces with leftover turkey and spiced beef, playing with happy kids and dogs. Who needs to go to shopping malls at seven in the morning when you can be so happy at home?
     
  10. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I always thought it meant 'play with all your Christmas goodies' day. Huh, you learn something new every day. :p

    But yeah, Black Friday is a really bad day to go shopping. Fight off an entire army of customers who act like that low-priced computer is the Holy Grail that will create world peace for all time? No thank you. I'll stay home.
     
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  11. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm American, I don't get out of the country, and I know what Boxing Day is.... I learned about it in school. Middle school. Like... Twenty years ago.

    Also, according to the Boxing Day article on Wikipedia, it's a celebrated holiday in the mainly southern quarter of the US.
     
  12. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I must not get out of the house much on Boxing Day, because I don't know how that's celebrated down here.
     
  13. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Hrm. General consensus seems to be that some Americans know it, but not enough are familiar. Thanks, all. Not a show stopper. I'll find another way to reference it!
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I'm American, and not a world traveler. I'm not sure where I learned about Boxing Day, except my mind is flypaper for random facts.

    From a writing perspective, I'd recommend some indirect exposition to acquaint the reader to the essential aspects of Boxing Day that are relevant to the story. But if it's just background color, I'd leave it to the reader to look up, with at most an enigmatic comment to inspire curiosity in the non-comatose reader.
     
  15. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    I'd guess that not one in ten thousand US citizens knows what Boxing Day is, but fewer than that can name the Vice-President.
     
  16. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    That's essentially what it is: a reference, not even needed to understand the story, just a throwaway joke. The context is that, in the future, advertising, sales, and consumerism are so entrenched in society that people now celebrate Boxing Day because of the sales instead of Christmas, and most (those who aren't historians or scholars) have forgotten what Christmas is. I have a bit of dialog where one character doesn't know what Christmas is and another explains it's the day before Boxing Day. I just wasn't sure if readers would get the relevance, or if it would detract from the story and I should come up with some self-explanatory name, like Year-End Salesoween or something.

    I know I could use Black Friday, but I figured the relationship between Christmas and Boxing Day would be better to reference in terms of showing commercialism.
     
  17. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wow, I thought I knew what it was but now I realize it is not what I was told. I was told it started in England with the upper class boxing up gifts they received on Christmas that they didn't want, and then giving them to their servants. If that was the origin it has been distorted as much as Christmas I guess.
     
  18. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    There's been times I've forgotten we even had a vice-president. :p

    You could always have an American character ask what that holiday is and the others explain for him/her. :D
     
  19. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It wouldn't surprise me if sometimes the Vice-President forgot we had a vice-president. :p
     
  20. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I learned about Boxing Day from Paddington. Does that count?
     

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