The history of giving

Zuletzt aktualisiert am 19. July 2023 um 13:54

Gift today | Why we give gifts | Special gift ideas

In fact, giving gifts has a very long tradition

Birthday, Christmas, Mother's Day, housewarming, Easter - there are countless occasions for gifts. In our culture they are part of our social interaction. Gifts are appropriate, popular, sometimes a must and in many cases still a voluntary gift that comes from the heart. But since when has this been the case?

With heart and mind - what everyone should consider when giving gifts

Gift giving itself is as old as humanity, even if it used to have a different name and a completely different meaning. Early peoples offered gifts to their deities. These were intended to appease the capricious gods and make them gentle. Thus, in the tradition of the time, giving gifts was not a voluntary and selfless act, but required some kind of reciprocation. This symbolic meaning remained attached to giving for thousands of years.

Demonstration of wealth and power

Gift giving took on a different character in the Middle Ages. The center of giving and taking was no longer an invisible deity, but rather the influential: princes, kings, feudal lords, church dignitaries. They were particularly generous and gave lavish parties during which valuable gifts were given. In this way they demonstrated their prosperity. Those who were self-respecting gave particularly valuable gifts. Expensive gifts were also used to bribe important decision-makers and maintain their goodwill.

However, if you want to give something as a gift, you also have to own something. This closed the cycle, with the rich and powerful finding ways and means to acquire property. Much of it was downright loot and was, if not stolen, then at least expropriated and thus forcibly taken into one's own possession. This problem was solved more elegantly by the more or less voluntary contributions of the subordinates, those who performed forced labor and all those who were dependent on the favor of their master.

Giving out of mercy

The word “gift” has its origins in a time when it also found a new, more selfless meaning. The better off people were, the more modern it became not to brag about one's wealth, but to give some of it away. In the Middle Ages, “gifting” was the name for the slow pouring of a liquid: out of charity, a refreshing glass of water was poured out to someone suffering from thirst. This act became symbolic of the new form of giving. For the first time, no return was expected, but a gift represented an act of charity.

Modern gift giving

With the industrial revolution, the nature of giving changed again. Since people have now become significantly wealthier and it is no longer just about having what you need to live, but also about treating yourself to things that simply bring joy, it quickly became established to use celebrations such as Christmas or even a birthday as an occasion to take something to give something to each other. This basic idea of giving has remained in our culture to this day.

Happy occasions should be celebrated with all joy. The best way to pass on this joy is to give the other person something that they would ideally like. In the past it wasn't that difficult. Even the simplest items were luxury; not everyone could afford everything all the time. Dealing with everyday objects that we take for granted today was completely different. Anyone who washes themselves every day with a rough soap will be delighted to receive a piece of fragrant natural soap. The young girl, who still lives in her parents' household, is happy when the first towels are given to her as part of her trousseau. But today, most people in our culture live in an excess that makes it difficult to bring real joy through gifts. That's why today we are faced with the question at every celebration: What should I give as a gift?

Why do we still give gifts?

What significance does giving still have for us today? The age-old principle of consideration no longer has any meaning. Unless they are promotional gifts from companies and service providers.

Unfortunately, celebrations such as Christmas, Easter or even birthdays are now the focus of many people today An unpleasant necessity at times. We often believe that we have to give something because it is appropriate, because it is customary and, above all, because the other person expects it from us. In addition, we always interpret the attitude that the other person might have towards us into the gifts. Anyone who gives too little is quickly seen as stingy. At the same time, excessively expensive gifts are perceived as inappropriate or pretentious. Useful things that were welcomed with joy in the previous century now signal a lack of imagination. As a result, the special meaning of giving is often lost. It is precisely the compulsion to give something that leads to irrelevant and unloving things being passed back and forth. Neither the giver nor the recipient really enjoy this form of meaningless gift giving.

“We don’t give each other anything anymore” is often the solution these days. Nobody will be really happy with it. Because deep down, we still love giving gifts – as long as it stems from our deepest desire to bring joy to one another.

Giving as a symbol

Today it's no longer about what the gift achieves. In a time in which we receive no social, professional or religious benefit from gifts and cannot significantly change our status through them, giving gifts is now more than ever about emotionality. We want to give something to our loved ones to see a smile on their face. Then it gives us joy and is more than just a chore.

We trigger feelings with a well-considered gift. For our partner in particular, the gift is an expression of how we contribute to the relationship. Personalized gifts show that we've put some thought into it and didn't just choose whatever was on sale. Women's gifts that respond to the partner's personal preferences and interests signal to her that she is important to him. Anyone who gives something very personal shows that they have listened to the other person and thought about their wishes and needs. But creative gift ideas are not for everyone. So what do you do if you would like to make the other person happy, but you have no idea what gift would be suitable?

The art of giving today

Schenken ist nach wie vor eine wundervolle Möglichkeit, seinem Gegenüber Zuneigung zu zeigen. Natürlich ist die Wahl des Geschenks heute schwerer, da wir alle im Überfluss leben, alles haben, was wir brauchen und uns nur noch über wenige Dinge aufrichtig freuen können. Dafür haben wir heute jedoch auch sehr viele Arten von Geschenken, die das Schenken selbst sehr flexibel und vielseitig machen. Es gibt viele Shops, die Geschenke bereits in Kategorien wie Männergeschenke und Frauengeschenke anbieten. Hier kann sich jeder zumindest inspirieren lassen. Geldgeschenke sind eine gute Idee, wenn der zu Beschenkende auf etwas Besonderes spart. Hierfür gibt es mittlerweile tolle Ideen, wie das Geldgeschenk verpackt werden kann. Damit zeigt der Schenkende Kreativität und schenkt doch etwas, das der andere garantiert auch benötigt. Kreativität wird auch in den immer beliebteren Do-it-yourself-Präsenten sichtbar. Hiermit zeigen wir nicht nur Einfallsreichtum, sondern auch den Willen, uns aufrichtig um ein schönes Geschenk zu bemühen.

Gift sets like the gift boxes makes a perfect gift if we are looking for something special. The different sets guarantee that there is something for everyone. It is possible to put together boxes yourself and thus, on the one hand, benefit from the versatility of the gift boxes on offer and, on the other hand, to do something yourself and not just buy a gift “off the shelf”.

Mit dem passenden Geschenk kehrt schnell die Freude am Schenken selbst zurück, und wir besinnen uns darauf, was Schenken wirklich sein sollte: Eine Gabe an einen Menschen, der uns lieb und teuer ist – ohne dass wir dafür eine Gegenleistung erwarten. Es sei denn, es ist ein strahlendes Lächeln auf dem Gesicht.

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