Many of us are familiar with the faith-based narrative behind Christmas. However, fewer of us know the origin of the Christmas gift, and specifically why we exchange gifts on or around December 25th each year.

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According to The Atlantic, some historians link the act of gifting back to the three wise men in the story of Jesus’s birth while others draw a connection back to the burgeoning upper class in New York City at the turn of the century.

Regarding the latter point, historians explain that as New York’s wealthy population grew between 1800 and 1850, elites worked to move the December celebrations from the crowded urban streets into a more secluded and private home setting. As the Christmas celebration became a more insular celebration within the home, parents worked to encourage “young Americans to associate the joys of the holiday with the morally and physically protective space of home.”

Whatever the origins of gift-giving, the act of exchanging presents is now a permanent fixture of the Christmas holiday. If you’re already pondering meaningful gift ideas for those closest to you, follow this gift-giving guide to find a perfect gift for everyone on your list.

Best Friends

Whether you’re shopping for a best friend or you consider a member of your family a best friend, certain people play a particularly pivotal role in our lives. Honor these family members or friends with meaningful, thoughtful gifts that capture the love and support you share. Best friend gifts should capture those unique, perhaps humorous, moments you share with someone special. Sculptural figures are powerful ways to convey these sentiments. Look for figures that express the treasured friendship you share with someone, including feelings of trust, understanding, and support.

Grandparents

The love between grandparents and grandchildren transcend the years, and a powerful gift can express this timelessness. Look for holiday gifts for grandma and grandpa that can add a meaningful emotional component to the holidays. Christmas ornaments are perfect gifts for grandparents, and they will love displaying them about the house or on the Christmas tree. Christmas ornaments come in a variety of designs and sizes and convey the unique aspects of love and support between generations. Handcrafted figurines conveying the bond you share or a thoughtful keepsake box can also be powerful ways to express your gratitude.

Parents

The Christmas holiday is all about loving family moments, and nothing captures this unique bond more than a nativity scene that includes Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus. Look for sculptural figures that include the expressive gestures of love, protection, and overwhelming emotion between a mother and father and a new baby.

You could also build a tradition each Christmas by expanding the Holy Family nativity scene. Add additional sculptural figures to represent each member of your family or include angelic figures such as a shepherdess and sheep.

About Willow Tree®

Willow Tree® offers an intimate line of figures and sculptures that softly display love, appreciation, and trust between loved ones. Since 1999, Willow Tree® has inspired uniquely moving gifts that capture life’s sweetest moments. Artist Susan Lordi hand carves each original figure from her studio in Kansas City, Missouri. Each sculptural figure depicts emotion through gestures only, such as the tilt of the head, placement of the hands, or a turn of the body. The simple absences of facial features leaves each figure open for personal interpretation and make powerful holiday, anniversary, or sympathy gifts for loved ones.

Browse the entire line of sculptural figures at Willowtree.com