Saturday, 17 December 2016

Christmas Presents

One of the main reasons we have the custom of giving and receiving presents at Christmas, is to remind us of the presents given to Jesus by the Wise Men: Frankincense, Gold and Myrrh.
  • Frankincense was a perfume used in Jewish worship and, as a gift, it showed that people would worship Jesus.
  • Gold was associated with Kings and Christians believe that Jesus is the King of Kings.
  • Myrrh was a perfume that was put on dead bodies to make them smell nice and, as a gift, it showed that Jesus would suffer and die.
Christmas itself is really about a big present that God gave the world about 2000 years ago - Jesus! One of the most famous Bible verses, John 3:16, says:'God loved the world so much, that he gave his one and only Son, so that whoever believes in him may not be lost but have eternal life.

All over the world, families and friends give presents to each other. Most children around the world believe in a Christmas gift bringer. It's often St Nick, Santa or Father Christmas, but different countries have different gift bringers.

These presents are also left in different places! In most of Europe, the presents are left in shoes or boots put out by the children. In Italy, the UK and USA presents are left in stockings, often left hanging by a fire place. In many countries, presents for friends and family may be left under the Christmas Tree. In the UK, they are often opened on Christmas day morning with all the family together. My family leave a Christmas bag out for Santa to fill. The custom of hanging stockings comes from the story of St. Nicholas.

Presents are opened on different days over the world as well. The earliest presents are opened is on St. Nicholas' Eve on December 5th when children in Holland of ten receive their presents. On St. Nicholas' Day (6th December) children in Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic and some other European countries open some of their presents.

Children in the UK, USA and many other countries, such as Japan, open their presents on Christmas Day, December 25th. The latest presents are opened on January 6th (a month after the earliest). This is known as Epiphany which I will explain in another post.

One popular way of giving presents in groups such as clubs, school classes and workplaces is to have a 'Secret Santa'. This is where you pull the name of someone else in the group out of a hat (or other container!). You then buy a present for that person. When the presents are given out (often at a Christmas party) each person is given their present but they have no idea which person in the group bought it for them!


CWMartin said...

I did the secret Santa thing once-or tried to. Car went down right then and I just couldn't afford anything. Never getting caught like that again.

Janie Junebug said...

A friend gave me a bit of frankincense one Christmas. It smells wonderful.


Rick Watson said...

Visiting you is always educational. I think you should put up a tree though I must admit, I'd have a hard time doing it if it was as hot as is sounds like it is there.

diane b said...

Another interesting post. Swiss give presents on Christmas Eve and we have continued that tradition here. It is good for our kids as they can then go to their inlays for Christmas Day.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I tell people that they can give me sweets for Christmas and I will be ├╝ber happy :)

I hope you have a Merry Christmas :)

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Not something I am interested in trying

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Well that is good to know, I had no idea what it was

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

If I don't get it up this year I will be better prepared for next year

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

I have never given or received a gift on Christmas Eve, but I expect that to change this year with Kathy and her family being here Christmas Eve and the fact that I don't expect to see them Christmas Day

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

I understand that, I expect I will have a good Christmas usually do

Cheryl said...

We usually let our kids and now our grandkids open one present on Christmas Eve but the bulk of the presents get opened Christmas Day. I love that other families have their own unique Christmas traditions.

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