Why do we give gifts at Christmas?
So, why do we go gift-crazy during the holiday season? I mean, with the convenience of online shopping, who needs to battle through mall chaos? As the reigning Queen of Online Shopping and Time-Saving Extraordinaire, you'd think I'd steer clear of tinsel-draped shops blaring Christmas carols, right?
And, what am I thinking when I spend an inordinate amount of time frustrated by slippy, shiny paper that folds in lumps, tape that sticks to the scissors, and ribbons that aren’t that easy to tie as I do my darndest to wrap gifts so that they look elegant, magical, and exciting?
With Christmas around the corner, I’ve been wondering what motivates the delight I find in gifting, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I go to so much effort because I’m not just wrapping objects as a matter of tradition… I’m wrapping my feelings with them.
The History of Gift Giving
The tradition of exchanging gifts dates back to the dawn of human civilization, possibly even preceding it, as indications of gift-giving have been observed in our closest ancestral relatives. Scholars suggest that early humans engaged in the practice of presenting items such as uniquely shaped rocks or animal teeth to foster social bonds and express gratitude. As human societies evolved, so did the nature of gifts, transforming from simple tokens to more intricate and ornamental expressions of appreciation.
The History of Wrapping
The Japanese word for “wrap” is “tsutsumu”, written as a “包”. Originally it was a hieroglyph of a mother carefully holding her child still in her womb, a symbol for care, protection, safety, and motherly love. With such basic, deep concept, wrapping gifts has long been regarded as something sacred, equivalent to sharing a part of your life with someone else.
The Invisible Fingerprint of Love - Captured by ROHO…
Enter the invisible fingerprint of love. With 8 billion people on this planet, your fingerprint is as unique as a snowflake. Just like the marks we leave on others' lives – those invisible fingerprints. Your dad cherishing ties he'll never wear, your husband sipping coffee from that wonky mug, and your mom still loving that cringe-worthy 90s song – these are the fingerprints of your soul.
It is impossible to make a memory or an emotion into a tangible object, but if you could, it would be your fingerprint – a palpable part of you that is as unique as the moments and sentiments you share with those you love… a token of your soul.
… although you may want to wrap it!
Yes, you’ll probably make a mess of it, but imagine your mother feeling what you would feel if you were gifted the fingerprint of your baby to wear around your neck, close to your heart. It doesn’t matter how old you are, or how the gift is wrapped, you will always be your mother’s most precious baby, and she loves you and everything you do more than you will ever know. She’ll shake her head in mock disbelief at the ghastly job you’ve done with the wrapping, but she’ll feel the love in each and every bumpy fold, and in the meaning of your touchable fingerprint as a reminder of the invisible fingerprints you’ve left in her life.
I’m going to sign off and call my mum – ‘just want to let her know I’m thinking of her.
Wishing you all a holly-jolly Christmas!
Until next year 😊,