The History of Giving Gifts

By Gracie Gibbs

What’s one universal act that many people all over the world experience? Gift giving!

older couple outside of shop giving flowers to one another

Whether you are from different countries, speak different languages, or express yourself differently, giving and receiving a gift is one thing we all have in common. Everyone can take part! There is no greater joy than coming together to give someone you love a beautiful and unique gift. So, how did it all start? Some might say it all started with Christmas, but contrary to popular belief that's false! Giving gifts can be tracked all the way back to the stone age. 

When Did Gift Giving Begin?

Although mostly associated with holidays or traditions, gift giving can be dated all the way back to the stone age. As expected, the gifts were more primal than your grandma’s favorite chili recipe (although we may never truly know). Things such as rocks and teeth were the main picks for letting that special someone know you’re thinking about them. But, that wasn’t always the case. It became apparent when extravagant gifts were given, playing into roles of power and leadership. From there, such as the Egyptian Age, gifts were a status symbol of wealth. In the Modern day and age, we usually give gifts as a symbol of love and appreciation, or just to simply say “Hey, I’m thinking about you!”. 

Why Do We Give gifts?

You might be wondering if it’s that simple to think that gift giving is a symbol of appreciation, and it is, but it can take form in many different ways. Take animals for example; although they might not express emotions like a human, they still know when they appreciate their significant other! Penguins will oftentimes give pebbles to their mate, as a form of affection. The female will then build their nest with the collected pebbles. How sweet! 

When a human gives and receives a gift, we are building bonds with those we care about. It has been proven time and time again that giving and receiving gifts fills the body with joy! 

A young boy and mom giving gifts to each other sitting down.

Become the best gifter and check out these unique presents to show your appreciation to those you love!

Sources came from In the Book, Curious History, and the dodo.