More than ever, people are searching for ways to reconnect with their roots. One way is to incorporate your ancestry into your Christmas traditions. You can do so with holiday decorations, cultural traditions and foods, and by giving gifts that represent your heritage.
15 Countries and Gifts that Represent Them
- Germany. December 6th is St. Nicholas Day, in which small gifts — such as chocolates or a wooden toy — are placed in the shoes of all children who’ve been good.
- China. Have each family member’s name written in Chinese symbols on rice paper and framed.
- Japan. Specialty food and alcoholic beverage gift items are given out at Oseibo, the holiday celebrated toward the end of the year in Japan.
- Italy. Carved wooden statuettes and figures are a meaningful gift in Italy.
- France. The love of good food, drink and fashion make any of these items luxurious gifts that represent your heritage.
- Brazil. Papai Noel, the Brazilian Santa, is likely to bring fruit or nuts, or memorabilia from celebrated sports teams.
- Cuba. Small toys and local treats are placed in children’s stockings after they go to bed. Grownup recipients will enjoy a good cigar or gift of fine alcohol.
- Mexico. Cochinitos, a soft gingerbread pig-shaped cookie, is a traditional gift.
- Austria. Vienna and Salzburg are known for their coffees.
- Switzerland. Woodwork or scenes depicting the Alps are traditional in Switzerland.
- Egypt. Personalized hieroglyphics connect family members with their heritage.
- Luxembourg. Give gifts of fine chocolate, clocks or watches.
- Scotland. Each clan has its own tartan; connect to your ancestors by giving gifts in your own clans tartan plaid.
- Sweden. Hand-painted crafts, such as trinket boxes, are common.
- Canada. If you’re Canuck and proud of it, consider giving maple syrup or hockey-themed gifts.
Creative Ways to Give
There are plenty of ways to incorporate your heritage into Christmas gift-giving. To add an extra-special touch, wrap your gifts with beautiful paper to show that you’ve put a little extra love and care into gift-giving. Giving gifts that represent your heritage is sure to become an annual tradition the entire family looks forward to.