Ever wondered why we buy gifts? We all understand the usual reasons. Valentines, Mothers Day, Easter, Fathers Day, Weddings, Christenings, Birthdays and Christmas. It's surprising how far back in our history the culture of gift giving goes.
These days its simple, and there are thousands of gift ideas for any celebration. But it also makes you feel good to buy something for someone you care about. To see their face when you have spent ages choosing or making that perfect gift you know they will love. It can be something simple, a special card handmade by a Grandchild for a Grandparent. Sending flowers if you know someone is feeling low or has been ill, their favourite box of chocolates. All things that say I care and I am thinking of you, it brings you closer to the receiver of that special gift.
Giving gifts has long been a tradition that dates back as far as man can remember. As human beings, we are very social creatures. Who enjoy each other’s company and expressing our feelings through the giving of gifts. Whether it is an appreciation of a job well done, an expression of love. Or to show our gratitude for having someone as a friend, the giving of gifts is part & parcel of our DNA. To understand why we are so captivated with giving gifts. It's important to go back in time to find the origins of this unique form of expression that makes us so human.
The tradition of Gift giving dates back many, many years. Pharaohs for instance would receive magnificent gifts of wealth. That they would later take with them into the afterlife. Romans were prominent and of great importance in the history of gifting. They gave each other tokens for luck. They also gave gifts during December celebrating the Saturnalia holiday. A ancient Roman Festival to celebrate the God Saturn. with banquets, and sacrifices. They would then hold private gift parties in which they gave small wax or pottery figurines. This lasted from the 17th - 23rd of December, and around 336 AD. The Date of the 25th December appears to have become the significant date for the birth of Jesus. And of course the tradition of gift giving changed to include the three Magi giving gifts to the baby Jesus. Later the story of Santa Claus based on the historical figure of Saint Nicholas. A fourth century bishop & gift giver. These stories and traditions became part of the history. And time of year that we all know and love...Christmas.
Kings throughout the middle ages received gifts. As a sign of allegiance from their subjects. Dowries were also used to secure a betrothal with offers of cattle and land. And in some cultures the custom is still in use today. Whilst we can promise that we will not send cattle through the post. We will do our hardest to help you find the perfect gift what ever the occasion. The psychology of why Gift Giving is so rewarding is because it is so simple and allows people to connect. Of course there is an old saying " it is better to give than to receive".
Sources - Wikipedia / Curioushistory.com