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Sunday, December 13, 2020

The Rock Almighty Devotional, Praise, and Worship with P.O.D. and Why We Give Presents At Christmas

 

Why We Give Presents At Christmas

  • Author Paul Smith

Every year on December 25th we celebrate the tradition of giving gifts to our friends, family and loved ones whilst very few of us understand the reasoning behind doing so. There is a lot of history that people rightly and wrongly associate with the giving of gifts at Christmas, which in many ways is a relatively modern tradition. (Continued below.....)




(....Continued.....) One of the earliest significant customs of giving Christmas presents during the winter solstice was throughout the Roman festival of the Kalends, which occurred at the beginning of January. Leading officials of the Roman Administration were expected to present presents to their Emperor during the festival, these presents were known as strenae.

Originally, these presents were believed to be branches of evergreen taken from the grove of the goddess Strenia; but Caligula wasn’t very keen on olive branches, so, the Roman dignitaries began to give presents of honey and cakes which pleased their Emperor.

Modern beliefs in the Christian religion is that the giving of giving presents at Christmas can be tracked back to the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh that were given to the Christ child by the three kings.

The visit of the three kings who followed a star to the Christ child was originally celebrated on the Feast of Epiphany on January 6th. Time ensured the tradition of giving presents came to be more associated with Christmas than with Epiphany. However even today in many countries presents are given on January 6th rather than December 25th.

We can be certain the ancient Church didn’t celebrate Christmas as much as it observed it as a holy day. The tradition of giving presents at Christmas grew in popularity throughout the middle ages, bringing us to the modern commercialized era of present giving.

During the nineteenth century, the idea of present giving took on new dimensions, as the works of Charles Dickens and Thomas Nast helped shape our concepts of Santa Claus and other notable aspects of the holiday.

The belief that Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus) brings presents comes from the legend of the generosity of Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra. Remembered for his generosity and kindness, he died on December 6th, in the year 345 when it became customary to give presents on the anniversary of his death.

For a long time Christians would give presents on both Saint Nicholas' Day and Christmas Day, but over time the two dates fused into one and Saint Nicholas was borrowed from his own day to be the patron saint of December 25th.

The reality of modern day gift giving is that we give presents to our friends, family and loved ones as a sign that we value and care for them, rarely because of the history that surrounds Christmas.

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