What we now know as Christmas began in the year 790. It was a midwinter festival that was celebrated by the Germanic people. A giant Yule log was lit in the fireplace and kept burning for the rest of the winter. It was a festival that celebrated the eventual coming back of summer’s light from the darkness of winter.
The tradition of the Christmas tree was to bring a little greenery inside to help them remember. Later in Germany, there was a legend of an old man named Father Christmas who came around the villages with presents for the children. That’s how Santa was born.
The Christians adopted the holiday and marked it as the birthday of Jesus Christ, even though nobody really knows what month he was born in. Some say January and others mark it in March.
Today, Christmas has become sort of a split holiday. Some say it is a religious festival, a time to celebrate the birth, while others complain how commercial it has become, but still go out and buy presents for everybody. At least it makes the retailers happy.
If you are one of those who buy presents, but don’t want to go the traditional route of clothing, jewelry, or electronics this year, how about a natural gift that will show them how thoughtful you are and help the environment as well?
According to the Healthy Planet Magazine, here are a few suggestions for natural gifts this year: One great gift for Christmas is the gift of healthy eating. Fruit baskets are available at most of the farmer’s markets throughout the area. Or, you can get a basket (an old Easter basket will do) and make your own because you know which fruits they like best.
From the Planet: “Fine art, greeting cards, coloring book, jewelry and gifts are designed to bring the joy and wonder of flowers, mandalas and inspiring words to others.” Fine art can also be framed and displayed to bring inspiration and pleasure all-year-long.
Vegetarian cookbooks are also an excellent way to keep your gift giving all-year-long. You may not only be giving your friend a gift of how to prepare delicious food, but also showing them the way to a healthier lifestyle.
One Christmas gift that can be ornate and help our feathered friends as well, is a carved wooden birdhouse. Be sure to include some bird food to help them get through the winter and I can’t think of a more thoughtful gift.
And finally, how about a nice statue for their garden? The Gifted Gardener on Manchester in Rock Hill has some great garden decorations, but please, no pink flamingos or those big gaudily-colored balls.