What's the Deal With Boxing Day in Vancouver

Tips and Where to Go in Vancouver

Vancouver Winter Shopping
Getty Images/totororo

Much like Black Friday is considered one of America's biggest shopping days of the year, Canada and other loyal subjects of the United Kingdom observe the day after Christmas as the top shopping day of the year.

For Vancouver, British Columbia, and all the other parts of Canada, December 26 is Boxing Day, a holiday in Canada. Everything imaginable goes on sale. Expectant Boxing Day shoppers have been known to form lines early in the morning or late into the night. Most sales do continue through the week, then known as Boxing Week sales, but popular items of the year may run out. Wherever you go, be prepared for the crowds.

Vancouver Shopping Spots

Boxing Day's biggest deals will be found at the larger, name-brand stores, making it a good day to shop for electronics, appliances, furniture, designer clothes, accessories, and toys.

For downtown Vancouver shopping, both Robson Street and Pacific Centre Mall will be packed with deals—and other shoppers.

Luxury retailer Holt Renfrew is a great place to shop for designer apparel. It's always pricey, but sales there lead to fabulous finds.

For mall shopping, you cannot beat the behemoth Metropolis at Metrotown. With 450 stores, Metrotown is British Columbia's largest mall, and it has its own SkyTrain stop for getting there car-free.

Top Tips

To avoid the rush of shoppers, start as early as the stores open. Also, if you go at night, you likely will experience fewer hordes of people, but you might not find the item you want if it's a top item of the year.

Write a shopping list and develop a shopping plan. It can be easy to get overwhelmed. Look online or at promotional flyers from stores that are listing their Boxing Day sales. If you know what you're looking for, a list will help you curb impulse buying. While searching online, find the best locations that have the best prices. Research whether the Boxing Day sale is better than regular prices online.

Set a budget for yourself and decide ahead how much you intend to spend that day. If you can, bring cash and leave the credit cards at home to keep you on budget.

History of Boxing Day

Boxing Day isn't just a public holiday in Canada; it's a holiday in most Commonwealth countries, including the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia.

The holiday is believed to have originated in England during the Middle Ages. Boxing Day may have been named after a tradition wherein employers gave boxes of money (or presents) to their servants and employees on the day after Christmas.

The day is also tied to the Western Christian liturgical calendar. Boxing Day is the second day of Christmastide, also known as St. Stephen's Day. In some European countries, notably Germany, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the Nordic countries, December 26 is celebrated as a Second Christmas Day.