The History of Gifting

Millions of gifts are given daily globally. The art of gifting has subconsciously become part of human culture. People across the world offer and receive gifts for various occasions and experiences. Due to the normalcy of gifting, most people do not think about the history of gifting, its origins, and its reasons. Thankfully, this blog will discuss the history of gifting and explain why it has become part of human culture. 

Origins of Gifting

Giving gifts can be traced back to thousands of years as far as the beginning of humanity. Gifting has been observed to be present even before the existence of humans in the animal kingdom. For example, male Chimpanzees have been known to offer food to females to receive mating favors. In humans, gifting began with cavemen who would offer simple gifts as a gesture of providing for a family. Therefore it should be no surprise to anyone that gifting comes naturally to humans. For this reason, it is often seen as a natural part of life and not thought of too much. 

The act of gifting, however, has evolved over the centuries. How modern-day humans give and receive gifts is different from how our cavemen ancestors did. Additionally, the meaning of gifts has also changed and evolved as humans have progressed through time. Thanks to modern technology, gifts can be found and offered in all shapes, sizes, and various customizations. It is therefore commonplace to find gifts that are unique and one-off due to customization. As a result, gifting has become a more personal and intimate event for humans. 

Evolution of Gifting

As previously mentioned, gifting in humans began with the cavemen. Giving gifts was an essential part of the community, especially for males, to establish dominance and gain respect. Additionally, tribe leaders would give individual accomplishments to those who did something spectacular for the tribe. In this aspect, we see the first instance of gifts being used as a form of appreciation. 

Moving forward in history, ancient Egyptians embraced the tradition of gifting, especially on birthdays. The Egyptians made the act of birthday gifts the phenomenon it is today. Various gifts were offered on birthdays, such as jewelry and crops. Moreover, holding a ceremony or a feast for someone was also considered a birthday gift. 

The ancient Greeks also had a culture of gifting. The Greek religion played a significant role in the nature of gifting. It was believed in ancient Greek religion that evil spirits would haunt an individual on their birthday. Therefore, people often attended the birthday ceremony and brought gifts to symbolize good wishes to ward off evil spirits.

The middle ages, however, saw the act of gifting for power gain traction. People often gifted each other to gain religious or political favors during the period. Additionally, gifts were also used to show loyalty to people in power and institutions. The middle ages saw the rise of books and manuscripts as gifts. Moreover, there was also a significant rise in romantic gifts offered to women by men. The romantic gifts ranged from men performing love songs to personalized jewelry and garments.

In the modern era, gifting has become routine and more straightforward. Part of this is due to the advent of online gift stores that allow people to order and deliver gifts with a few clicks on their computers and mobile devices.

Looking at the origin and evolution of gifting, one can now understand why giving gifts is part of modern-day human culture and behavior. Rising from this, the modern-day gifting culture has thrived and has seen gifts offered and received for various occasions and reasons.

Leave your thought here