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Should shops remain closed on Boxing Day?

A petition calling for a ban on shops opening on Boxing Day has attracted close to 194,000 signatures.

The petition was created last month by Ian Lapworth, a baker and former DJ from Kettering, who argues that the Christmas holiday should be respected by retailers.

Mr Lapworth says:

“Shops, especially supermarkets, do not need to open on Boxing Day. Whilst not everyone may see Christmas as a religious holiday, it should be respected as such, and retail workers (who work so hard on the run up to the big day) given some decent family time to relax and enjoy the festivities like everyone else. Most retail workers are on the go up to Christmas Eve, then back on Boxing Day. Sometimes they have no choice. We managed 30 and 40 years ago…when shops were sometimes shut for a whole week. Let’s get back to the way it was. Forget making money for one day, let’s concentrate on making more memories with the ones we love.”

What are your views? Would you support the proposal of shops remaining closed on Boxing Day?  Would you welcome the return to a less commercialised holiday season? Do you visit shops on Boxing Day?

Should shops remain closed on Boxing Day?

1170 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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johnboy68
27th Jan 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
why cant people let all shop staff have 2 days off at xmas
LizzieClack
16th Dec 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
I wil not be shopping on Boxing Day this year!
Issy
10th Dec 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Like Mr Lapworth I agree that shops should be closed on boxing day as we have lost the value of family time my sentiments are " we should work to live not live to work " lets get back to teaching our children how to care about family life
Georgie Girl
10th Dec 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
Some people don't have family or friends to share Christmas day and possibly look forward 'not necessarily to buying' but just being able to go to the shops on Boxing Day for a feeling of warmth and buzz around them.
Carol27
9th Dec 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
There is no need to shop on Boxing Day and if all these people who shop need something to do, they could go for a walk or offer their services to someone who needs a helping hand.
shortyshah
9th Dec 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Please can they remain closed on Xmas day and boxing day like the good old days.holiday means holiday for everyone.
Angie95
9th Dec 2016
8
Thanks for voting!
Yes shops should stay closed on Boxing Day, We don't need to shop everyday, we have freezers etc, My husband works in Sainsbury and they open on Boxing day, so he only gets Christmas Day off, unless his day off falls on Christmas Day or Boxing Day,, It is more like Dickens times, now, we should be going forward not backwards!
HJR58
9th Dec 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
Surely everyone is shopped out by then? Never go near a shop on Boxing Day - it's a day to relax after a usually hectIc Christmas Day! The people who work in retail work damned hard in the run up to Christmas - they deserve some time off!
Angie95
9th Dec 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
I agree with you HJR58 , Christmas is supposed to be Family time, not shopping time!
31321norfolk
9th Dec 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
Every employee should have the right to celebrate Christmas with their family if that is their tradition and belief. My husband worked in retail for over 40 years. He worked every Saturday and alternate Sunday's. When we were first married he had Wednesday afternoon off (Wednesday half day closing) and Saturday afternoon plus all day Sunday. Time off got less and less and our children didn't always see him during the week because they were in bed when he left in the morning and in bed asleep when he got home at life. People have become more selfish and don't see the other side to 24/7 shopping.
Angie95
9th Dec 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Oh 31321norfolk, what you have just said is exactly the same as what happened with my hubby, , it's sad x
bag lady
8th Dec 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
I have worked in retail management most of my life and remember when shops didn't open boxing day. It is good for workers to enjoy a few special days off with family. Companies have become so greedy nowadays and don't look after their staff like they used to. Sadly they don't seem to take note that they don't actually take more money by opening boxing day ...it's just costing them more in wages and utilities. Customers will still come and buy when stores open again.
Westminster
6th Dec 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Boxing Day as it called in the UK is actually Saint Stephen's Day as it is known in Ireland.

Saint Stephen was the first christian martyr, and we should honour his day.

There are plenty of days for shopping, and for those who are totally non-religious there is internet shopping.

It is also better for shop workers that they have a two day break with their loved ones.
Superman
5th Dec 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
We have lost our true values as a nation, and one day off a week where we can't shop would be good,
Lola 555
1st Dec 2016
-1
Thanks for voting!
No thats wen r the sale on
Carpet Bowler
28th Nov 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
All shop assistants deserve a two day break at least.
Boxing Day is just as special as Christmas Day and should be observed. Many families - it is the only time when they can get together.
tichy
28th Nov 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
I used to work for a large clothing store. I was always thankful that I had Christmas Day and Boxing Day off.
It seems the people who have long Christmas holidays, usually the Office workers, who want the shops open, taking the shop staff away from their families.
hatters
25th Nov 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
It's only stuff they can't get rid of it would be so nice just not to have to think of shopping and it is so unfair for people to have to work I did it for 20 years and when I found a job where I didn't have to work weekends and they shut our site for the whole of the Christmas holiday what a treat
HJR58
9th Dec 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
I agree. I worked in the NHS for many year and often worked most of the Christmas and New Year period. I'm semi retired now and don't work weekends or bank holidays now.
Barton babe
25th Nov 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
We have plenty of time to shop all year round, surely two days with out shopping will not hurt anyone. Keep Christmas.
Joesnan
25th Nov 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Mentioned this to staff in my local large supermarket, the till girl was a no vote, the other assistant says he loves it, double pay, no customers and spends all day watching TV in staff room !
scandiman
23rd Nov 2016
6
Thanks for voting!
All part of the wonderful UK Christmas 'experience '. Shops stocking up on tat. Parents nearly bankrupting themselves so the 'kids' get what they want. (Why are they not children now, why always kids?).
Christmas songs on the radio five weeks before the 'big day'. Frequent reminders that it's coming from the likes of Chris Evans. Silent streets round here because no-one goes out. Exhausted staff in retail required to turn up early Boxing Day, for the great unwashed to grab the latest deal. Enforced jollity at the office party with people you wouldn't be seen dead with, but you have to, because it's Christmas.
Laughing at the boss's joke.
All the frantic build-up for what? In what other faith system do they build up to it three months before?
In what ever way you choose to celebrate it (or not), I wish you all contentment and good health for 2017.
Yodama
8th Jan 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
My sentiments too, gilt has certainly been taken off the gingerbread. I am now firmly in the Grinch, grumpy camp.
yahsue
22nd Dec 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Well said Scandiman and Best Wishes to you and yours as well for the coming year.
lizfid3
22nd Nov 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
Years ago I worked in retail and the Boxing Day opening was a farce. Sham sales which fooled nobody and a couple of poor non Christians wandering aimlessly about was the best we did. It's time to spend more hours with family and friends over Christmas as opposed to lining some fat cats pockets.
vibeames
21st Nov 2016
6
Thanks for voting!
No I disagree. The public have stocked up their cupboards well with food, drinks and a host of other items to cover themselves well provided for the Christmas period. The Staff who are employed in shops no doubt have been busy over the period leading up to Christmas and have worked in most cases well into the late evenings and therefore are no doubt tired. The shops, supermarkets are only out to make more money for their own ends.
Lionel
21st Nov 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
So well said I couldn't have put it better!
Loppylou
20th Nov 2016
6
Thanks for voting!
why can't we try and get the old traditions back xmas day and boxing day home with t
he family
JohnHerb
22nd Dec 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
I agree just have 2 days in the year...no shopping...no trains...just stay at home and relax. not sure it will happen though!
Lionel
21st Nov 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Yes, why not indeed. Might go a long way to slow down the current break up of the family.
CazzaJane
20th Nov 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
My daughter is a Carer which is an essential service so accepts that she works Christmas Day but shopping for non essential goods can surely wait until the day after Boxing Day. Am I right in thinking that the Sales never used to start until the New Year, why not go back to that.
Lionel
21st Nov 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
You are quite right. Sales were always New Year Sales. Let's go forward to that.

I was a carer for more than a decade. Please relay my understanding to your daughter.
PatriciaA
20th Nov 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Shops should close Boxing Day. Staff deserve 2 days off to prepare for the rush of January sales.
jkemart
20th Nov 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
Boxing Day should remain a family day.
Autumn leaves
20th Nov 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
Shops should close Boxing Day. Everyone can manage for two days without shopping!
Agedbird
20th Nov 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
My husband has not had Boxing Day off for the last 7 years so it doesn't exist as a holiday in our house I to have worked on Boxing Day for the last 3 years ...As I work Christmas Eve too we only get Christmas Day .
Lionel
21st Nov 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
I know how it is with you two. Believe me I know!
jeanmark
20th Nov 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
I was a nurse for 47 years and during that time I worked 31 Christmas Days but did manage a few Boxing Days off, I still disagree with shops opening during that time. I'm now retired and my husband still cooks Christmas Dinner but at least I'm at home!
Lionel
21st Nov 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
We're agreed about shops opening. But cooking, is this a one day a year off for you? 'Tis for me.
MrsPat
20th Nov 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Thats not fair for you or your family
Debbie watts
20th Nov 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Remaining closed gives everyone a rest ,life moves at a fast pace and staying closed boxing day reminds us it's not just another day.
Lionel
21st Nov 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
You're so right Debbie. Thank you.
SusanG5
20th Nov 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Not everyone has time after boxing day to exchange gifts, perhaps for size or browse sales as they also return to work. It's for me not a question of necessity shops being open but of convenience. Working in retail you have to accept that bank holidays you tend to be open. Carers have no breaks at holidays. Police, firemen, nurses, all have families too but it's acceptable if not hugely palatable that they have no break. It's how it goes in my opinion. I am sure many will disagree but I don't see why the outcry.
JackieA1
19th Nov 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
It's not necessary for shops to be open they are NOT essential services and should have family time too
june1
19th Nov 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
I often had to work bank holidays in the NHS .this was accepted it was necessary but shops are not necessary to be open on bank holidays at all. Give the staff a break
irishpisky
19th Nov 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
When we had our business for 27 years, we closed at lunchtime on Christmas Eve and re-opened on the second working day after New Year. All our staff were paid for this and had a good time to spend with their family. We went down periodically, to check the answering machine, and e-mails and anything which was urgent was dealt-with or replied-to....
Wilf
19th Nov 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
Great idea. Being a person who has had to work many times over Christmas its really bad news for the staff. We should all have a reflective time off
Rasco
18th Nov 2016
6
Thanks for voting!
Without a doubt YES! This seven day a week 24/7 retail culture we are speeding towards does nothing but put strain on family life not just for those who work in the retail sector but those who cannot afford the "bargains" and east payment debt inducing terms on offer. Enough is enough!
Lionel
18th Nov 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
Rasco, absolutely right! Couldn't have said it better myself.
Jo Kingham
17th Nov 2016
6
Thanks for voting!
I think they should be closed. Give everyone a couple of days off - what with Sunday opening now, and some shops open so late, poor people who work there should get a break! I never understand people who rush out on Boxing Day to the sales and if you really have the urge why not do it online?
vibeames
17th Nov 2016
8
Thanks for voting!
A definite NO. The public have just had plenty of food, drink and gifts. The shop staff have had a very busy time leading up to Christmas with many staying open late. The staff must be exhausted and need a break themselves. I think the stores are being greedy in respect of money making ideas.
Mrs S Gillard
17th Nov 2016
6
Thanks for voting!
I've never agreed with Sunday opening and it's nothing to do with religion. I can't see why anyone can't go two days with out shopping. I feel for those that have to work its WRONG
irenem0705
16th Nov 2016
8
Thanks for voting!
I have never shopped on Boxing Day , I worked I retail many years right up to Christmas Eve, and looked forward to two days off! Some years I was so exhausted, I didn't enjoy my Xmas dinner, as I was so tired! I don't think the shops need to be open, surely the retailers have made enough money on the lead up to the big day, no thought for the workers, only profits !
MommyA
16th Nov 2016
8
Thanks for voting!
Quality family time is very important. No one needs them open.Close all shops Christmas day and Boxing Day.
jockbelle
16th Nov 2016
7
Thanks for voting!
Retail workers need time off over this time as a lot of staff work extra hours during the run up to Xmas and are exhausted
Joeyboy1951
16th Nov 2016
7
Thanks for voting!
Most of my working life was shift work and inevitably l worked most Bank Holidays. My job was safety critical so needs must but opening shops on Boxing Day is unnecessary. Supermarket and major store staff work hard enough throughout the year (my sister in law works for Marks and it's no picnic) there's no vital need to make them work over Christmas or Easter.
Lionel
16th Nov 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
Well said, Joey, I completely agree.
Sillyold bat
16th Nov 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Personally I would not want to shop on Boxing day, I can think of much better things to do, especially if with family that are not seen often enough. But I think any shop that chooses to open should be allowed to providing the employees are happy to work that day. The same goes for any restaurant that wants to open over the Christmas hols.
JohnHerb
16th Nov 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
I agree I could not bear to go shopping on Boxing day...all those crowds of people and the car parking-total madness. Much better to stay in , have a walk, watch TV and drink a few glasses of red wine!
Lionel
18th Nov 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Johnherb, that sounds as if I'm hearing myself! Although, thinking about it, not so sure about the TV.
LesleyP3
16th Nov 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
Most staff are made to work these unsocial hours with the threat of losing the job they have ... Retail staff have families and social lives too ... Surely shops being closed Boxing Day isn't going to bring about the end of the world .. surely there's more exciting things to do with your children and families than troll round the shops .....
violetM
16th Nov 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Look, live and let live. I don't want to shop over the Christmas period, especially boxing day! But my neighbor might! Let the shop decide if it wants to open or not. The same for restaurants, open if they want. Our favourite pub closes on Christmas Day but opens for Boxing Day. The staff seem happy with that. If you don't want to shop great, but!!
Suefogg
16th Nov 2016
6
Thanks for voting!
I work in retail in a smaller shop and we are expected to open Xmas day as well, it is meant to be voluntary but a lot of pressure is put on people to do so! I hate this time of year purely because we don't have time to enjoy it so why bother?! People are also expected to work up to 11pm on Xmas eve and boxing night so Xmas is a non event! We don't even get a Xmas box of any kind, it's all take and no give these days!!
EmmaEliza
16th Nov 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
All shop staff will have worked so hard up to Christmas and deserve time off for their own enjoyment of Christmas should get Boxing Day off. All the Boxing Day would-be shoppers can be more family orientated where possible.
We expect too much of too many people to do things we would be averse to doing ourselves. There really are so few shops we definitely need on Boxing Day - garages yes we do need.
Pwilly
16th Nov 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
Last Christmas eve I remember commenting to my partner, that the people surrounding us at the till in Morrison's, must be expecting the end of the world over Christmas. The trollies were full to bursting with food. I'd be surprised if any of them would need anything until after Boxing day. I'm sure people who work in retail, would like more than one day off over Christmas.
Richard 69
16th Nov 2016
6
Thanks for voting!
If shops are to be closed on Boxing Day, should the same not apply to pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels too? Surely the members of the hospitality industry deserve to be able to spend time with their families and friends at this time?!?!
Joeyboy1951
16th Nov 2016
6
Thanks for voting!
Well said surely we can look after ourselves for two days
pescadore
16th Nov 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
The only people that will have to work are the people that have worked the hardest, those at the front of the shops. All the managers will be at home with family and friends counting the money. I am sure if the offices had to go into work there would be an uproar. How about a day when the shops are shut and all the banks and offices are open.
pamleggeat
16th Nov 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Having worked in the community for many years and only having one xmas day off I dont know why shop assistants are being highlighted as having time with family at xmas there are so many other people doing jobs that require them to work 365 days. Where would we be if they too were off. Also there are many people who are alone at this time of year and go out simply to be around others.
jeanmark
16th Nov 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
I can understand where you are coming from pamleggeat but I think the issue is that shops are not essential and therefore do they need to open. Community and emergency services such as the NHS, police etc. have to be available and people knew this when they joined.
Pam1960
16th Nov 2016
8
Thanks for voting!
There really isn't a need for shops to open on Boxing Day apart from filling the pockets of the big stores enticing everyone in with yet another sale. It seems to be a year round sale nowadays. Let the people who work in retail he an extra day off and enjoy the bank holiday like everyone else.Christmas is so commercial I doubt whether the majority of people even take the time to reflect know the real meaning of Christmas. Also talking of sales why do we have to order online on Christmas Day to get the best deals.. Surely one day could be online shopping free. Finally I would also close the shops on Remembrance Sunday to give people time to remember those who died serving this country and reflect know the horrors of war.
scandiman
16th Nov 2016
6
Thanks for voting!
I voted yes, if only so I can travel across the QE2 bridge to visit family without being stuck for three-quarters of an hour near Lakeside shopping centre. I feel sorry for shop staff forced to work Boxing Day. However, since U.K. is ruled by profit and governments which are only interested in saving money, why not be open Christmas Day as well? This country is obsessed with money. To many, Christmas is nothing more than a season of excess.
As a follower of paganism, I prefer to celebrate the winter wonders of nature, enjoying the food and moderate drinking, with long walks in the crisp air. Christmas in U.K. is just a display of vulgarity. In Scandinavia it's civilised.
Prosseco
16th Nov 2016
6
Thanks for voting!
Yes all shops should be closed on boxing day after all people who work In shops have families it is christmas
drowden
16th Nov 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
It is impossible to properly relax on just 1 day. You can't enjoy a drink because you might be over the driving limit the following morning. I have worked many Christmases and I would much rather have been at home celebrating.
JohnHerb
16th Nov 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
I agree why should retail staff have their Christmas day spoilt?
0
Thanks for voting!
Good point JohnHerb!
Annie dawn
16th Nov 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
Yes I think they should close on Boxing Day retail staff work long enough through out the year
Shop never used to open years ago on Sunday's or bank holidays and at Christmas they were close fo at least a week I think it should go back to that . It's all got to money orentated
Lillylollypop
16th Nov 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
I have worked in retail and it was unfair that you were unable to celebrate Christmas with your own familt because greedy people wanted to the first to buy bargains
Wilf
15th Nov 2016
7
Thanks for voting!
I have never even thought about this but yes I think they should. We all have one wonderful day of Christmas and then for many people its a rush back into the mad consumerism we all seem to partake in. I feel sorry for all the shop workers as well. Why should they have to work on Boxing day? Many many years ago I had to work shifts at Christmas and did not enjoy it as I had been working hard all the way up to the great day. Give people a break and lets make a few more things in life quiet and peaceful-it would help us all!
Lionel
15th Nov 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
So well said, Wilf. I thank you for that.
Wilf
16th Nov 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
Do you agree with this as well Lionel? I do think the whole consumerism has just gone mad and we should get back to a simpler time at Christmas if thats possible!
Lionel
16th Nov 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
I do so agree Wilf, I really do.

I've said elsewhere on SS, my early childhood was in a small West Norfolk village. The two shops we had shut on Wednesday afternoon, and at lunchtime on Saturday. No Sunday opening! If there was no jam to go with bread and scrape, well tough round lovely things. Got to prefer them to bread and scrape!

These shops shut at midday on Christmas Eve and re-opened two days later. No one went hungry; no they planned ahead as my wife and I do now.

Yes, consumerism has gone mad, but not in my household. Maybe that's a reason for our 1950's sanity. What do you think?
Wilf
16th Nov 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Lionel yes you are right in my childhood we did not have this rampant consumerism we have now. Its been made much worse by the internet. I am a part of it---want a book you see a review in the paper-buy it on Amazon---Torch doesn't work---buy a new one on Amazon. I think we need to get back to simpler times but thats not going to happen. Mankind is in 1st gear now...wait till we get in 5th...and there is no reverse gear!
scandiman
16th Nov 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Shopping is the national pastime. I go to Lakeside Thurrock for a particular purchase, buy it, have lunch and leave. I have seen families dragging kids around the shops because they can't think of anything else to do. The shops close on Easter Sunday and Christmas Day. These are the busiest days for on-line shopping. I'm sure some people have withdrawal symptoms if the shops aren't open.

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