Christmas Presents

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History of the Christmas Present
With all the expectation of Father Christmas having flown over every hill top within the land and dropping down every available chimney that allows him to squeeze his rather rotund body down, it would be good to think that within the whole excitement of Christmas day, that in fact some people do actually sit back and consider the splendour of Christmas and how it came to be.

One of the first known customs of giving was recorded around the Roman Festival of winter solstice which coincides with the first day of January – these gifts were known as Strenae.
Originally these gifts took the form of branches taken from a place known as the Grove of the Goddess Strenia. These in time gave way to other such riches as honey cakes as token symbols to celebrate the New Year and that they may bring sweetness, and gold that may bring wealth and prosperity.

Very few people will be aware that the practice of giving Unique Christmas Presents in December dates back to Ancient Rome. It is said that Romans practiced the art of actually celebrating the year end with the festival of Saturnalia in honour of one of their gods, Saturn, the Roman God of agriculture. At this time all work and business was suspended and slaves were given temporary freedom and gifts were freely exchanged, not dissimilar to a modern Christmas.

Not having a modern high street or the internet like today where you can pick some unusual Christmas gifts, the people of the cities and villages prepared special food and decorated their homes and living spaces with collection of greenery and seasonal flowers. Much merriment was undertaken with singing and laughter, and it soon came to pass that this time of year was known as “Gift Giving”.

Christmas Presents – How they came about
The explanation will not come as a surprise that the most prolific giving of gifts took place after the birth of Christ. Unfortunately the three wise men couldn’t actually go online and personalise the Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh as a Personalised Christmas Present to Baby Jesus, but the images that surround that possibility could be rather creative if one sits down to think about it.

Many gifts today can be related to the genre of gifts these three wise men gave. The first being Frankincense, a sweet smelling gift that today is described as perfume. The next was Gold, associated with Christians and Kings as Jesus was named the King of Kings. Rather worrying Myrrh has a more cynical meaning, it was used as a scent to put on deceased bodies, this indicated that the new King may suffer and die……this is not to suggest that this is standard practice today, but never the less this event is one of the earliest recorded significant ceremonies to give gifts in celebration.

As a result families and friends give token presents to each other and in some cases Personalised Christmas Gifts too, but from a child’s perspective their Unique Christmas Gifts are seen to be gifted from a selection of various figureheads. In the main, this is usually St Nicolas, aka Santa Claus or Father Christmas as he is known in the main. If you in Germany he goes under a range of names including Kris Kringle and in the country of Spain they promote the fact that it is the wise men who bring the presents.

Where do you find your Christmas gifts.?
In the main gifts are left in stockings that are left hanging over the fire place on Christmas Eve. To accompany these you often find gifts left on the hearth by young children such as Carrots, Mince Pies, smarties and in some cases a slug of brandy. If fires are not available some of the more unusual Christmas presents are sometime left under the tree, where their shape and size can never be accommodated within the restrictions of the small stockings. In Europe Christmas presents are sometimes left in shoes or boots that the children leave out.

When are the Christmas presents opened?
In the main presents are opened on the morning of 25th December, in some cases these are opened very early due to the excitement of young children unable to keep asleep due to the excitement of what Unique Gift Father Christmas has brought them. But in different parts of the world it is customary to open gifts prior to or after the 25th December.
The first date is December 5th known as St Nicholas Eve when children in Holland of ten receive their presents. The next day St Nicholas Day is the 6th December when children in Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium and some other European Countries will open their Christmas Gifts on his day. Surprisingly the last presents to be opened are on 6th January, this is done in mainly Catholic countries such as Spain and Mexico.

Today
Gift buying is conducted in a whole new way. December the 7th is now seen as the online shopping peak where people can now choose, personalise their gifts if they need to, have them wrapped and even delivered to their chosen destination of choice, being slipped into the stockings secretly while the kids sleep. Tokens of money are often given, and online sales on Christmas day grow each year as people go online to spend their vouchers or redeem the codes from the array of gift cards that are available today.
But for many the magic of browsing through the shops or online, looking for that inspirational present still captivates so much fun, just waiting to be inspired to purchase that truly unique or unusual Christmas present for the special people in your life.

Giving a unique Christmas present could be a welcome change for many people this year in the search for more adventurous ideas. For a gift with a difference you can create a personalised Christmas present by adding the recipient's name to one of our selected gifts.