Giving gifts is a significant part of Christmas traditions around the globe. Whether you're setting brightly wrapped boxes under the tree for your children or having a gift exchange at the office, you're following a tradition that goes back thousands of years. It even predates Christmas itself.
A Worldwide Tradition
Many cultures and traditions have a winter festival to exchange presents at the end of the year. The direct ancestor of the Christian tradition is probably the Roman festival of Saturnalia. This was a popular and widely celebrated holiday, and employers gave their employees a bonus to buy gifts. It was traditional to choose something simple and humble to give rather than anything expensive.
The First Christmas Celebrations
Christmas first became a holiday in the early fourth century. Presents were part of the festivities right from those early years. Not only were they already a beloved tradition, but they fit perfectly with the Christmas story.
How Gifts Fit With the Christmas Story
There's more meaning behind the presents we give and receive at this time of year than a kind gesture or an old tradition. First, the Three Wise Men brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh to honor the newborn Christ, so trading presents is a clear reminder of the story that is the reason for the season. Even more importantly, Jesus is God's greatest gift to humankind, and celebrating his birth by giving carefully chosen presents to those we love symbolizes that ultimate expression of compassion.
If you need gifts for a loved one this holiday season, choose Treehouse Gift & Home in Onalaska, WI. For over 20 years, this gift shop has offered novelties, decor, and Christian music, with many items made by over 70 local artists. They also carry brands you won't find anywhere else. For questions about their inventory, call (608) 433-7896 or visit their website to see what they have in stock.