Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
– Clement Clarke Moore
Christmas is known not just as the birthday of Jesus Christ, but also as the season for gifting. To give something, regardless of the kind of present it is, speaks volumes about our selflessness nature’s. The amount of effort given to contribute even a bit of happiness to someone counts the most when it comes to gifting.These tiny gestures lead to the blossoming of new friendships, strengthening of familial ties and resurrection of fading relationships.
This is why the children look forward to Christmas morning; the sight of the huge pile of presents that Santa might have left underneath the Christmas tree or inside the red socks hanging near the fireplace. But of course, it would be unfair to say that the ‘season of giving’ applies only for children. Regardless of age, colour, caste or creed, everyone deserves to be gifted on this day.
The concept of gifting goes way back in history. Despite popular belief that the tradition of giving gifts originated with Christianity, it is actually of Roman origin. Surprisingly, Christians regarded it with distaste as they considered it to be of Pagan descent. But Christianity ending up adopting the practice during the 4th century since the early preachers did not want to forego pre-existing traditions.
Eventually, the drift changed and people regarded the act of ‘giving gifts’ as a way to honour the three wise men who visited Baby Jesus in the barn. It further received popularity after St.Nicholas. People started exchanging gifts on December 6th – Feast of St.Nicholas. It was only by the end of 19th century that the tradition arrived to Christmas Eve. It took a drastic turn when a few European rulers misinterpreted the story of the three wise men. And for their own selfish desires, they declared that Christmas is a time for the people to provide ‘gifts’ to their superiors. They made annual Christmas tributes mandatory. The holiday for fun and celebration suddenly turned bitter. Fortunately in the 10th century, the efforts of a Bohemian Duke, King Wenceslas, bore fruit as the law of the Christmas tribute was reprimanded and the tradition regained its former vigour.
This holiday attained further popularity during the Industrial Revolution. Retailers sensed potential increase in sales, and quickly jumped on the idea of exchanging gifts. The advent of ‘Christmas special products’ made the holiday the most important time at the market. There was an outcry among a few about the commercialisation of a holiday meant for love. But there has yet been no denial that exchanging gifts is a way to rekindle the fire between a pair of bounded souls.
However, buying or making the perfect gift may be a challenging task that requires a lot of brainstorming, effort and skill to eventually bring forth that smile on the person you want to gift. So this Christmas, if you want to give back to someone, here are some gift ideas you could try!
1. A popular book: The Woman in The Window‘ by A.J Finn is this year’s promising book in the Suspense/Thriller genre that is about a recluse woman named Anna Fox, who sees something outside of her window one night, that changes her life altogether. Definitely a must read for bookworms out there! Available on Amazon.
2. An exciting board game for the entire family: There’s no doubt that this unique hexagonal board game ‘Catan‘ won Game of the Century award for winning families worldwide. The objective is to trade, build, settle, and of course to beat the other players to it. It’s the perfect way to spend cold and dwindling winter days with a cup of hot cocoa, your friends and family. Highly recommended for people who enjoy playing Monopoly.
3. A big Christmas basket full of chocolates and goodies will always do the trick. Especially when you run out of time to buy a gift!
4. A polaroid digital camera to record, capture and save your precious moments with your significant other!
5. A DIY Jar for your best friend. Place different coloured chits inside and accordingly attach a colour code that says something meaningful to you and your friend, like “Memories” or “Song quotes about our friendship” etc. It’s a creative way to express your love and share heartfelt moments.
These ideas may seem simple. But they will come a long way in establishing the connection between the two of you. No gift is ever just something bought from a store, gift-wrapped, and presented to you out of a mere social construct. If there’s even a little bit of thought put into making you happy, then there you have it. A token of gratitude and love so potent that it’ll stand against the testament of time, and serve as a constant reminder as to how beloved you truly are.
MTTN wishes everyone a Merry Christmas, and a happy new year!
Written by Aneesha Muthuraj and Shreemoyee Roychoudhury
Credits: MyDomaine, GoodReads, Pinterest
Art credits: Ashirwad Ray