How the tradition of giving gifts at Christmas began

The traditional Christmas presents are inevitably associated with Santa Claus and his Elves making happy children and those who are no longer that young. But is much more than that. The tradition of giving Christmas presents exists since centuries ago, and started on a way that resembles a modern fairy tale. Details vary depending on the story, but like also happens with the myths, there is some truth in most of them.

In this article, we are going to explain you the origin of this touching tradition, that since years ago has become one of the most popular and celebrated around the world. Sure that you also love to receive Christmas presents and enjoy giving them. Because beyond consumerism and some grumpy “Grinch” that don’t bear these dates, the truth is that Christmas will always be a synonym of illusion. And presents have a lot to do on it!


Discovering the real Santa Claus

Christmas giving tradition started when Saint Nicholas or Sinterklaas, which is called in dutch, became seamen and children ‘s patron saint. Santa Claus figure as we nowadays know it, is based on Sinterklaas, also known as Saint Nycholas of Myra, in Turkey. 

Following the tradition, this priest, who at his parent ‘s death inherited a great fortune, gave all his goods during his life and never charged fees for celebrating baptisms of weddings. For that reason, his kind-hearted and generous behavior was taken as an example for the next generations, specially for the seamen that crossed dangerous oceans and also for orphan and poor children, many of whom worked since they were very young. 

After Nicholas’ death, was declared a saint and became an ideal figure for presents and sweets given on Christmas day. Saint Nicholas’ devotion expanded to most parts of Europe, and ended crossing the Atlantic, strongly putting down roots in North America, although there in the 16th century already interchanged presents. The tradition reached the British colonies, where it was popularly known as “wassailing”. Later on was codified by Queen Victoria and other members of the British royalty. Presents have been exchanged throughout history, but it wasn’t until the 19th century when they started to be offered in large numbers on Christmas day.


Other possible origins for Christmas presents

The Christian community affirms that this kind tradition has its origin in the Bible ‘s New Testament. There it tells that after Jesus’ birth, three astrologers coming from the West arrived to Bethlehem with a series of offerings for the baby as sign of respect: gold, incense and myrrh. They did it because, according to the prophecy, the newborn would be Jewish new King, the population’s liberator Messiah, back then subdued to Roman empire occupation. 

However, some historians believe that this practice could have started even before, during pagan festivities, or seasonal celebrations. They maintain that present’s exchange was a common practice among many civilizations previous to Christianism. For example the roman exchanged presents on december 21st as part of their celebration honoring Saturn, grain and agriculture’s god. It is believed that this celebration could have evolved until it became what we nowadays know as Christmas.

Without presents, it isn’t Christmas

Tradition of giving presents during these dates started 2000 years ago or even more, back then the usual presents were clothing, food, poems, songs or handmade toys. Nevertheless, with the passing of time and as a result of the industrial revolutions, Jesus’ birth was commemorated with presents of all kinds, specially handcrafted goods.

Despite boys and girls are the big protagonists during these magical dates, present ‘s exchange has no age. The youngest at home have a clear preference for toys, but among adult’s preferred presents are clothing, footwear and accessories. Why? 

Surely because they are things that everybody uses to like, among other reasons, because clothing and shoes’ wardrobe needs to be renewed: that means they are an easy solution for Christmas presents. And talking about clothing style, footwear and accessories, the cowboy style is one of the most popular and has no age. If it has a country touch, in addition to being trendy will stand out of the rest: western and rockabilly shirts for men and women, bolo ties and western ties, bandanas, cowboy boots, western ankle boots, biker boots, camperos boots, cowboy hats, leather belts, belt buckles, boot accessories, leather gloves, caps, leather wallets and handbags

All this and more, is what you will find at Corbeto’s: a great variety of Christmas perfect presents that will adapt to your budget and recipients. You are already excited to check them out, aren’t you?


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