- Essential to the modern Christmas, these came to the fore in the 1840s and 1850s, replacing a much older tradition of *New Year gifts between adults which by then was in decline. The rapid upsurge of Christmas gift-giving had several concurrent causes: the growing child-centredness of the festival; the example of Germany, where small presents were associated with the *Christmas tree, the availability of mass-produced toys, especially imported from Germany. At first most presents were for children, but those for adults became ever more popular during the rest of the 19th century. It must be stressed, though, that these were upper- and middle-class habits, which the less well-off could not afford; numerous people who grew up in the first half of the 20th century attest that their Christmas presents at that time were still a handful of nuts and sweets, an orange, and, if they were lucky, a new sixpence.Some families pin up pillowcases as receptacles for small presents, but most use a stocking. It is not certain when this began, nor whether it is a native or imported custom. Henderson, in 1866, noted that 'The old custom of hanging up a stocking to receive Christmas presents . . . has not yet died out in the North of England', and that friends of his did it 'without the excuse of a child to be surprised and pleased' (Henderson, 1866: 50). Yet others writing in 1879 and in the 1880s reported it as unfamiliar (see *Santa Claus).One can probably assume continental influence.
A Dictionary of English folklore. Jacqueline Simpson & Steve Roud. 2014.
Look at other dictionaries:
Christmas presents — ➡ Christmas * * * … Universalium
Christmas worldwide — Christmas around the world redirects here. For other uses, see Christmas Around the World (Bradley Joseph album). The Christmas season is celebrated in different ways around the world, varying by country and region. Elements common to many areas… … Wikipedia
Christmas Eve on Sesame Street — scene with Oscar (in garbage can) and Big Bird at the 86th Street station Christmas Eve on Sesame Street is a Sesame Street Christmas special first broadcast on PBS on December 3, 1978 … Wikipedia
Christmas — • Provides a detailed overview of the holiday from the fourth century through the modern age. Includes links to related topics Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Christmas Christmas … Catholic encyclopedia
Christmas in Nazi Germany — Christmas presents for the poor in 1935 The Christian festival of Christmas was celebrated in Nazi Germany, although with variations from traditional practice. It was referred to as Julfest … Wikipedia
Christmas Comes to Willow Creek — DVD Cover Photo Directed by Richard Lang Produced by … Wikipedia
Christmas tree — Christmas ,tree noun count a tree that you cover with lights and other decorations at Christmas. Christmas presents are often placed under the tree … Usage of the words and phrases in modern English
Christmas Eve — For other uses, see Christmas Eve (disambiguation). Julaftonen (Christmas Eve), a watercolor painted 1904–05 by Carl Larsson (1853–1919) Christmas Eve is the day that, according to modern calendars, contains the evening, or first evening, of… … Wikipedia
Christmas tree — For other uses, see Christmas tree (disambiguation). A lit up Christmas Tree with ornaments  The Christmas tree, also known as a Yule tree, is a decorated evergreen coniferous tree, real o … Wikipedia
Christmas — By far the most popular festival in England today, imposing itself even on those whose religious or political beliefs would normally rule out Christian celebrations; the greatest pressure is to conform for the sake of the children, who are… … A Dictionary of English folklore