Boxing Day sales overhyped

A shopaholic’s dream comes true as the stores open and grace us with their sales on the infamous Boxing Day. Gift cards and gifted money in hand, you scrounge around the stores, digging and scoping out the best deals to see how many shirts, pants and accessories you can hold in just one hand while using the other to help make your way through the massive crowd.

I never understood the joy of Boxing Day shopping. It was an activity that I thought only my friends who do not mind wasting hours in mall would like. The crowds, people acting ridiculously, the long lines — it sounds like my worst nightmare. Sales are great and saving money is even better but at the price of being trampled by crazy shoppers?

Yet what I learned outside my tedious third-year courses this semester was that I do enjoy some retail therapy and picking out new outfits can be extremely exciting. I would not label myself as a shopaholic but I have noticed my higher interest in clothes and wanting to look polished and presentable at all times. So I woke up this winter break with a different mindset than the previous years: I was going to go Boxing Day Shopping.

And man, did I fail miserably. I only lasted one hour (and that is excluding TTC travel time) and I only got one item that was on sale. Disappointing right? Even with my own tips that I thought would keep me going and motivated to be successful at all the stores, it still did not work out.

Here is what I did right: I went alone and I avoided the mall, because even on a regular day, malls are a scary territory. There are stampedes waiting to happen at the mall and whenever I go to one, I already have trouble breathing in the contained area.

Boutique-style shopping is way better. You go inside, walk around, realize that everyone is overwhelming, get some fresh air and prepare yourself for the next store. Malls, you get stuck in one store, get a headache from the stale air, go out of the store and oh no, more stale air. It’s disgusting.

Going alone was also smart because if I want to be aggressive and get my deals, I do not need a friend dragging me behind. Boxing Day means business. If you have your stores in mind and your wish list set, there is no way you will want to take a detour and spend an hour in a store that you do not want to be in. A second opinion is always helpful but then that’s where smartphones come in: take the picture, get your “yes” or “no” emoticon response and move onto the next item.

But this is what went wrong and why I should never bother with Boxing Day shopping in the first place. To me, shopping is a fun and relaxing experience. You walk in, browse around, find some items and get excited about wearing it out later. Boxing Day shopping involves messy shelves, wrong sizes, super long lines and people hungry for a fight. They won’t move, they will cut you off and I guarantee, they will piss you off.

The deals that were going on at my favourite stores were not even the best — I have seen some of that occur during mid-season. I hyped myself up on being successful yet if I had waited a couple of days, I would have been more patient and able to get a lot more pieces.

After calling it quits, grabbing a warm beverage from Starbucks and taking a nice walk home to de-stress from the chaos, I realized the true gift of Boxing Day. While your family is off running around and trying to shop, you have the whole fridge to yourself to get first dibs on delicious holiday leftovers.

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