We all know of the Christian origin of Christmas, about the Nativity and the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. But where did the practise of giving gifts come from? Like many Christian holidays and celebrations Christmas contains elements of Christianity and pagan practises. We all remember the nativity and the three wise kings from the east delivering gifts to the new born child but the giving of gifts during the winter solstice goes back to Roman times and the ancient festival of Saturnalia.
In Scandinivia the people worshipped the Norse God Odin and tales would have it that Odin would come to earth on the Winter Solstice on the back of a eight legged horse or in a sleigh pulled by reindeer to deliver presents to all the good children (sounds familiar). If Odin was barred entry through the door he would come down the chimney (sounds very familiar). The figure of Santa Claus is our modern version of the myth. He is an amalgamation of mythical characters like Odin and real life characters such as St Nicholas and his appeal is universal.
In the past gifts were simple fair such as fruit and nuts, clothing and hand carved toys. The true commercialization of Christmas came with the Industrial revolution and the ability to mass produce goods. The Present Shop have a hand picked selection of Christmas themed decor and gifts to help you celebrate the festive season.