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The biggest shopping frenzy of the year, December is when people become preoccupied with finding the perfect presents for their loved ones. Through the giving and receiving of presents, we’re reminded how lucky we are to have one another and how important it is to enjoy the time we have together.
On Christmas, Christians exchange presents to symbolically show gratitude towards God for giving them Jesus. Christians demonstrate their love for Him by showing kindness towards one another – and giving gifts is a well-established way to express that.
This holiday commemorates a group of Jewish rebels who fought oppression and reclaimed their temple in Jerusalem (which was seized and defiled by Greek soldiers in 168 B.C.E.). Typically, small gifts – either one or eight modest ones for each night of the celebration of lights – are given.
During Kwanzaa, African Americans honor togetherness and a shared heritage. The last day of Kwanzaa involves gift-giving as a form through which to reaffirm self worth and honour the creative spirit. Gifts are often homemade in nature and promote community pride, success and self-determination.
Mother’s Day (the second Sunday of May) is the most popular gift-giving holiday after Christmas. It’s a time to pay homage to the woman/women who have played a formative role in our lives. We do that by spending quality time with our moms (as well as grandmothers, aunts, sisters, friends) and showering them with love and presents.
In most cases, the more personalized and “from the heart” the gift, the better. Some neat ideas: a beautiful vase filled with fresh flowers, a gorgeous serving tray and high quality cheese and nuts or a unique fruit bowl overflowing with a mélange of bright-coloured fruit.
If you’re having trouble picking something out, opt for a gift certificate accompanied by a beautiful card. The card will make up for the fact that the gift itself isn’t very personal and this way, she’s sure to end up with something she’ll love.
Father’s Day is about recognizing all that our dads (and other men who fill paternal roles) do for us. Taking place on the third Sunday of June, it’s when we thank them for the love, support and sacrifices they’ve made on our behalf with presents, cards and special get-togethers.
As with Mother’s Day – this being a celebration of people who play a formative role in our lives – the more personalized the gift, the better. Putting together an assortment of items relevant to his interests and hobbies is a great idea. For the dad who spends lots of time at the office, an engraved silver photo frame along with a paperweight and a clock watch would be nice. For the epicurean dad, go with steak knives, a grilling tool set and cappuccino maker.
If you’re really struggling trying to figure out what he wants, opt for a gift certificate accompanied by a thoughtful card. The kind words will make up for the fact that the gift itself isn’t very personal, and it’ll give your guy the option of picking out whatever he most wants or needs.
Each year on February 14th, hearts, flowers and cards take center stage. While it is uncertain who Saint Valentine was or how the tradition started, Valentine’s Day has become a significant day in popular culture.
Generally considered a celebration of romance, it’s a wonderful opportunity for couples to strengthen their relationship by spending time together and exchanging gifts. Instead of the traditional flowers or chocolates, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. A set of plush towels or a crystal box with candy or even jewellery inside are sure to make him/her smile and take things up a notch.
Valentine’s Day is also a nice opportunity to honor our non-romantic relationships. Surprising your parents with matching spa robes or your three best friends with hand-poured candles is a beautiful gesture that’s sure to warm their hearts (and bodies and homes).