Bit of Gift Giving History!
Updated: Aug 31, 2020
Ever wonder when the first gift was ever given? Was it at Christmas? Before?
Gift giving goes back—-way back—to cave man time actually! Some say it started even before (in the animal kingdom) but we won’t go there now.
Cavemen didn’t give gifts to their moms and wives to say “Happy Birthday”. Rather, they gave gifts for other reasons. Think of it as the act of giving. Our ancestors gifted each other regularly. In order for a man to prove his ability to provide for his family, he needed to give something. Those gifts were usually in the form of food like a fish he caught or a deer he’d hunted . It showed his value and his worth. Gifts were given to show love and affection and included things like rocks, tree bark, shark teeth and even plants and flowers.
Gifts were also given from leaders to their subjects to show them appreciation. The gifts were simple but must’ve been greatly welcomed and appreciated.
Later in history, In Ancient Egypt for example, there was a shift between giver and receiver. No longer were the leaders gifting their subjects, rather the lower class felt a need to please their leaders, so they would present gifts to them.
It was reported that the Ancient Egyptians gifted their neighbors, the Hittites, stone jars that had the royal monogram inscribed on it.
Ancient Romans also received gifts from peasants who wanted to stay on their good side. But, Romans also gifted their followers good luck charms.
Eventually the charms were exchanged amongst the people themselves.
The Greeks also gave and received gifts, but the greatest and most memorable one was the Trojan Horse they gifted to the city of Troy as an offering to Athena. The tale goes on to say that the gift of the large wooden horse was filled with Greek soldiers that snuck out of the horse during the middle of the night and overtook the city. Pretty genius I say.
During the Medieval Age, gifts were given to kings in order to show allegiance or to ensure that the king would be favorable to a personal request.
I could go on and on about the history of gift giving but needless to say, there is evidence and research that shows that gifting is as old as time.
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