Exploring the Origins of Gift Giving

Gold gift box with gold ribbon

Do you love giving gifts as much as you love receiving them? You’re not alone - we also love the pleasant feeling we get from this exchange. Gift giving is a two-way street that creates a bond between the giver and receiver. It produces a euphoric feeling of pleasure and joy, which makes gift giving - and receiving - so addicting! We've seen firsthand how giving an Add-A-Pearl cultured pearl necklace can positively impact someone's life.

Whether it be Christmas, birthdays, weddings, or graduations, the occasions that involve giving gifts are endless. Have you ever wondered why we give gifts in the first place? With National Give Something Away Day landing on July 15th, we thought it would be appropriate to dive into the origins of gift giving and how this tradition came to be.

As human beings, we're social creatures that naturally crave connection and intimacy, and oftentimes we express our feelings through the giving of gifts. We tend to share gifts with the people we care about in order to strengthen or establish our connection with them. The act of gift giving allows us to communicate our feelings and appreciation for the people we love.

With scientific and historical origins dating back thousands of years, gift giving has become such an important part of our lives and is basically ingrained in our DNA. The tradition of giving gifts has been widely practiced amongst ancient and diverse cultures throughout the world.

The origins of gift giving can be traced back to our nearest relatives, the chimpanzees, and can even be considered to serve an evolutionary benefit. Thanks to science, male chimpanzees have been observed gifting food to female chimpanzees. Scientists believe that, among the earliest humans, men who gave gifts would have an easier time attracting a female. Cavemen would give gifts to express their affection and appreciation, and tribe leaders would commonly praise individuals for their contributions by gifting something like an animal tooth, tree bark, or a unique stone that could be worn as a necklace or made into other accessories.

Ancient Egyptians were one of the first civilizations to practice the tradition of giving gifts. Similar to a birthday, coronation day was a day when pharaohs were believed to transform into gods and begin a new life. Pharaohs received gifts to celebrate and mark this important occasion. Gifts like jewelry, flower grains, and crops were often given to royalty to prepare them for an abundant afterlife.

The importance of gifts and gift giving and the role they played in ancient Greek society are illustrated in the foundational works of ancient Greek literature written by Homer, who was considered among the greatest influences on ancient Greek culture and education. Homer’s Odyssey portrays the ancient Greek’s concept of hospitality and the importance of gift-giving. Homer believed one should extend gifts to strangers because generosity and kindness towards others was a force for social good. This concept of hospitality was considered helpful in maintaining order.

Gift giving is still part of our everyday culture and serves as a means of communication and gratitude. Whenever you're celebrating birthdays and holidays, offering good luck and best wishes, showing love and affection, or simply just saying thank you, you can find the right type of present to give someone for any reason or occasion at Add-A-Pearl.


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