23rd Card for Christmas 2010


Europeans have exchanged midwinter gifts with one another since ancient times. Until relatively recently, owever, most of these gifts traded hands around New Year’s Day rather than on Christmas Day. As Christmas became an increasingly important holiday, people began to exchange gifts on Christmas rather than on New Year’s Day.

The custom of exchanging Christmas gifts among friends and family became widespread during the nineteenth century. In this same era Europeans and Americans began to adopt the German Christmas tree. At the same time Santa Claus became a popular mythological figure associated with Christmas in the United States. Both of these innovations encouraged the growth of Christmas gift giving—the tree by providing a beautiful location to display the gifts, and Santa Claus by serving as a new Christmas gift bringer. Unlike the medieval New Year’s gift, or the English Christmas box, the nineteenthcentury Christmas gift circulated between family and friends and expressed the affection of the sender. Although charity had for centuries been a theme of Christmas celebrations, it became increasingly important in the nineteenth century. Charitable gifts linked Christmas gift giving with the spiritual celebration of the holiday. Finally, in the twentieth century many American companies adopted the custom of distributing Christmas bonuses to their workers at Christmas time. Reminiscent of the English
Christmas box, these gifts of cash rewarded employees for their hard work in the past year.

Another old tradition of Christmas gift giving comes from Sweden. The Swedes called these gifts Julklapp, which means “Christmas knock.” This name comes from an old Swedish custom whereby Christmas gift givers would knock on doors, toss in their gift, and run away. Recipients then tried to guess who had delivered the gifts. In addition, Julklapp usually arrived in some form of trick packaging. These surprise gifts added a dash of humor to the Christmas season.

Materials used:

CEF - Textile Texture
Stamp by Rubber Stampede (thanks Claire for this great stamp)
Grossgrain ribbon by Tilda
"God Jul" charm by CChobby
Crystal beads by slojd-detaljer

Copic Markers:
skin - E00, 95, 93 and R00
hair - R59 and promarker Maroon
blouse - R37 and promarker Berry Red
gift packs - R27, RV34, E04, BG05, G14 and 17, plus promarker Emerald


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