Its archaic origins shrouded in the mists of time, “Boxing Day” dates back to the 1830s in England, from where it expanded to those places around the world most influenced by the British Empire, including Canada. Originally a day for giving gifts to the poor or to the working class, it gradually morphed into the biggest (shopping) sale day (and then week) of the year.
In the late 2000s, as the Canadian dollar gained in value against the US dollar, Canadian shoppers were more inclined to cross the US border to take advantage of Black Friday sales at the end of November. Canadian retailers began offering their own Black Friday sales to encourage shoppers to stay home. For other reasons, British retailers started the same practice a few years later.
Fast forward to today, and in both Canada and Britain, “Black Friday” dwarfs Boxing Day/Week as the largest buying orgy of the year.
Empires rise and fall. Traditions change. Society shape-shifts. The very fact that this is true is evidence that anchoring to empire, tradition, or society is a risky endeavour. What appears permanent and immutable is neither.
Two questions follow:
1. What principles, values, big ideas, etc. can you anchor to instead that will ground and hold you when the seemingly everlasting ends?
2. If, one day, you discover that even those principles, values, big ideas, etc. are impermanent, too small to hold you, or even wrong: what matters enough to you that its worth being wrong about?
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