Christmas present ideas in history.
Historical origin in an ancient pre-Christian tradition, Christmas present ideas.
During the ancient Roman celebration of Saturnalia, the harvest festival, small candles and clay figures were given. At Calens, the Roman new-year, more elaborate gifts were exchanged.
The Romans believed that sweet gifts would ensure a good year, so fruits, honey, and cakes were popular gifts.
Evergreen branches, were given as symbols of continuous health and strength. Wealthy Romans gave each other gold coins for good luck.
Everyone gave gifts, children gave to their teachers, slaves gave to their masters, and the people gave to their emperor.
Even though the three kings and others gave presents to the baby Jesus, gift giving did not become an established part of the Christmas celebration until several centuries after the birth of Christ.
It was in the middle ages that gift giving began to be part of the Christmas tradition. Because the early Christians did not want their religion to be associated with pagan festivals, they shunned gift giving as a pagan practice.
It was in the middle ages that gift giving began to be part of the Christmas tradition.
The kings of England, like the emperors of Rome, demanded gifts from their subjects.
The common people also exchanged gifts, but only among the wealthy were elaborate gifts given. The poor exchanged trinkets and entertained each other with songs and parties and plays.
Nowadays, the knitted pattern jumper is considered to be the worst present you could find under the tree, followed by a dustpan and brush and the dreaded socks.
In the past some very strange things were eaten around Christmas. At lavish Christmas feasts in the Middle Ages, swans and peacocks were sometimes served “endored”.
The flesh was painted with saffron dissolved in melted butter and the birds were served wrapped in their own skin and feathers, which had been removed and set aside prior to roasting.
Around Victorian times another traditional Christmas feast was roasted goose or roasted turkey. In Victorian times, most Londoners would have been familiar with the “goose club”, which was a method of saving to buy a goose for Christmas.
Goose clubs were popular with working-class Londoners, who paid a few pence a week towards the purchase of a Christmas goose.
The week before Christmas, London meat markets were crammed with geese and turkeys, many imported from Germany and France, although some were raised in Norfolk, and taken to market in London.
The birds were walked from Norfolk to the markets in London, to protect their feet the turkeys were dressed in boots made of sacking or leather and geese had their feet protected with a covering of tar. The traditional Christmas goose was featured in Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’.
Nowadays, if you sit down with a typical British family on Christmas day, the starter is probably going to be prawns or smoked salmon.
The main course is more than likely to be turkey, often free-range and the bigger the better, although goose has been making a bit of a comeback, and for the vegetarian in the family (there’s always one) a nut roast, this is normally served with potatoes (roasted, boiled, mashed, or maybe all three), vegetables (including the devil’s veg – brussel sprouts) roasted parsnips, and stuffing with gravy and bread sauce.
This is usually followed by Christmas pudding; a rich fruit pudding served with brandy sauce or brandy butter.
Plum puddings are a very rich, dark pudding made with all sorts of dried fruits, nuts, spices, black treacle and lots sherry or brandy.
They are made well before Christmas as it takes time for the alcohol to soak into the dried fruit, however nowadays most people buy them from a supermarket. They are steamed when first made, and re-steamed on Christmas Day before being served with a sweet white sauce or brandy butter.
If the pudding is made at home, everyone in the household must take it in turns to stir the pudding and make a wish, the mixture should be stirred from east to west, in honour of the three wise men.
Some people like to hide a coin or trinket in the Christmas pudding. This may have originated in the ancient custom, in Rome and elsewhere, of concealing a particular object in food.
During the Roman festival of Saturnalia, a dried bean would be hidden in the food. Whoever found it was then “master of the revels” – a king for the holidays. Even a slave could be the lucky one. In medieval times, a cake was eaten on Twelfth Night (January 6), during the most boisterous party of the year.
The “King of the Bean” ruled the whole party. Nowadays people put in a silver coin and eat carefully. Whoever gets the piece of pudding with the coin in on Christmas day is especially lucky and their “pudding wish” (made when the pudding was stirred) will come true!
They are covered with a layer of marzipan or almond paste and then thick white “Royal” icing made with icing sugar and egg whites.
It was introduced as a custom by the Victorians. Prior to that period, cake was eaten during Christmas, but without the toppings. The idea of using marzipan is thought to be linked to the Tudor Marchpane an iced and decorated cake of marzipan that acted as the table centrepiece during banquets and festive occasions.
They should be made about six weeks before Christmas and are usually decorated with ribbons and images of Santa Claus or robins with holly.
New Holiday Etiquette Rules You Should Know
Good-bye to the holiday newsletter — hello to endless social media updates? Not quite. Discover new twists on old rules that make celebrating the season. Christmas present ideas!
It’s okay to send e-greeting cards.
Many people send online cards because they want to be green and save time and money.
You can skip sending a holiday newsletter.
It used to be standard to tuck these into cards, but this tradition is waning, perhaps because we’re updated year-round via technology.
Online invitations are okay for many holiday events.
It also makes it easy for guests to respond immediately. If your event is formal or you want to make it feel more elegant, send invitations the old-fashioned way.
You can toast with water and without clinking glasses.
It’s a misconception that it’s impolite to toast with water. If someone proposes a toast and you don’t drink, lift a glass of water or whatever’s on the table in front of you.
A bottle of wine isn’t the only good hostess gift.
Bringing a small present whenever you go to someone’s house is still a good idea. But that token of gratitude doesn’t have to be vino.
If you know your hosts well, bring something that suits their interests, such as an upscale bottle of olive oil for cooks and a set of herb seeds for gardeners.
If you don’t know them well, opt for chocolates, jams, candles, decorative soaps, cocktail napkins or small serving pieces they’re not likely to own, like canapé forks.
It’s fine to say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Chanukah.”
While “happy holidays” is never wrong, most etiquette experts agree that celebration-specific wishes are acceptable because they’re “simply greetings of the season.
A handwritten thank-you card is the best way to show your appreciation.
This rule is so old, it’s new again. “These cards make the recipient feel good because you took the extra care to write it.