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  • Writer's pictureGram

How Do You Gift

Word of the Week

Altruism (al-true-is-um): A behavior that selflessly benefits someone else. A person who gives a gift because they want the other person to be happy, demonstrates this quality. It comes from the French word altruisme, meaning "unselfishness."

Bonjour and happy holidays!

People from all over the world take part in gift giving as part of their Christmas celebrations. Thoughtful gifts are given to family members, friends, neighbors and colleagues all to commemorate the spirit of the season. Most children  believe that there is also a special “gift giver”.  His name differs from place to place but includes Santa, Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Christkind, Wise Men and even an old woman named Banfa.

Just as the “gift givers” name differs from place to place so does the manner of giving. In Europe, children leave out shoes or boots for their gifts. In Italy, the UK and here, in the USA, stockings are typically hung by a fireplace mantle for gifts. In other countries, they are simply out under the Christmas tree.

So, just when are all of these gifts opened? Just as you might expect there are all kinds of dates. The earliest to open are people of the Netherlands, they open gifts on December 5th known as Saint Nicholas Eve.  The next to open are European countries including Germany, Belgium and Czechia who open some of their gifts on December 6th, also known as St Nicholas Day. Children of the USA, Japan and the UK open gifts on December 24th or 25th, which is Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. The final date belongs to Catholics predominantly from Spain and Mexico. They celebrate and open gifts on the Epiphany, which is January 6th.

Just keep in mind no matter when you celebrate, or how you celebrate, do it with a joyful heart.

This year, we are making our gift giving special for even our youngest family members. They may not be able to read but they can recognize people from photos. We are making gift tags using pictures instead of just names! That’s our project for the week and I think you could have a lot of fun personalizing your gifts!

Stay kind and be jolly!


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