Did you know that giving gifts at Christmas time is a relatively new tradition in this country? Yep! It seems like it's been around since the beginning, but that's just not the case. In fact, the pilgrims who came to America didn't even celebrate Christmas because they thought the holiday too decadent.

In the early 1800's, Americans began celebrating Christmas again, not as a boisterous party, but as a solemn and private family event. Victorian standards of the day were being relaxed and families saw this as an opportunity to lavish attention and gifts on their children without spoiling them. (yeah, right!)

Stores began advertising Christmas shopping in 1820, Santa Claus becomes popular, Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' is widely read, and real live Santas are being visited by children in stores.

The rest, as they say, is history!

Gift Giving Tip #5

When I see kids' toys that are very unique and affordable, I buy a few so that I'm not out running to the toy store on the way to the birthday party. Candles, wine, gift cards, and birthday cards should always be on hand for a last minute hostess gift or "oops I forgot" gift.

For the Chocolate Lover

Why get just one type of chocolate when you can get a smorgasbord? It's a candy bar in a box and perfect for the sweet tooth on your gift list!

Best White Elephant Gift

This will be a "hot" item at your next White Elephant party. These flasks look just like a tube of sunscreen but can hold 8 ounces of your favorite beverage.

Fun Kid Gift

Remember Hungry, Hungry Hippos? Well this is like that...but different. This hungry crocodile has a toothache and you have to find out which tooth hurts by pressing them one at a time. Press the wrong one and SNAP! Giggles for all.





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