Gifts are a traditional part of Christmas – but why do we give presents at all?
According to French anthropologist Marcel Mauss, gift-giving carries many legal, moral, economical and spiritual aspects, and is significant for the whole social fabric. Many ancient cultures follow the intricate rules of gift exchange, which is not a voluntary act, but rather a comprehensive set of rules based on obligation and formality.
If a person does not take part in this obligatory ritual, he or she risks losing respect, moral authority and even wealth.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
Prayers, toasts, recitals, or singing Christmas carols are basically structured, and repetitive actions that lower anxiety and make the world a bit simpler.
Festive meals are always the main attraction, with special attention to home-cooked treats. Many cultures have elaborate rituals related to how food is cooked, served or eaten. From cooking seven different kinds of curry to spit-roasting a lamb on Easter, many cooking rituals are time-honoured and make the festival special.
The gift-giving ritual is not to be taken lightly and is extremely crucial to maintain social ties and create reciprocal actions filled with love and respect.
Even if the gift choices are pre-planned, the ritual of exchanging gifts has tremendous value and significance.
Every year, many families across the world celebrate Christmas and have a tradition of giving children with special Christmas gifts.
Critics have decried the commercialization of the Christ...
Donating gifts to poor children as Christmas charity started only after gift-giving to the children of one’s own family and friends became a common ritual.
Gifting in general is not according to ‘good behaviour’ and does not have an exclusive link to the Christian faith.
Gift giving for children during Christmas started in New York City in the 1800s when the holiday was ‘reinvented’ as a family bonding time that integrated the various home decoration and shopping rituals.
When the city’s population grew ten times from 1800 to 1850, city planners and the elites feared that the street revelry done by ‘commoners’ would be a problem for them during the holidays, and started to focus the celebrations to be done at homes only.