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The joy of holiday gifting: History and culture (and corporate gift guide)

Uncover the history, cultural significance, and global practices of meaningful holiday gifting.

Louise Donnery5 min2023-09-06

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Joy of holiday gifting an illustration of two people exchanging a gift

The holiday season is fast approaching, and with it comes the timeless tradition of gift-giving. Whether for Hanukkah, Christmas, or Diwali, exchanging gifts unites us all in a global celebration of connection.

Our gifting platform is perfect for gifting both individuals and communities, including employee gifting, customer appreciation gifts, or business marketing gifts. We also have a dedicated holiday gift catalog, to help you find the perfect gift for the holiday season.

Join us to uncover the history, cultural significance, and powerful emotional connections created through thoughtful corporate holiday gifting.

The historical roots of holiday gifting

Picture ancient Rome decorated for Saturnalia festivities or longhouses filled with feasting Vikings celebrating Yule. The essence of holiday gifting has been ingrained in our societies for centuries. No matter how much time passes, the joy of exchanging tokens of goodwill during festive seasons endures. It's fascinating how these timeless customs have evolved and adapted, yet the essence remains unchanged. We still gather, share warmth, and express affection by gifting, a testament to the enduring charm of holiday gifting traditions.

Cultural significance of holiday gifting

Gifting unites us the world over, and each corner of the world holds its unique manifestation of gifting rituals. Oseibo is a Japanese gift-giving event symbolizing gratitude, celebrated during the cold winter month of December. In Poland, they share Oplatek. During Kwanzaa, people exchange zawadi. Consider the Hindu festival of Diwali, the festival of light, where, among many things, houses are cleaned to invite prosperity, and gifts are exchanged as tokens of good wishes. Despite geographical and cultural differences, these disparate practices bear one unified message - love, gratitude, and togetherness. Every unique gifting tradition paints the vibrancy of human connection, fostering a sense of community that ultimately makes us realize we are more alike than different.

Meaningful gifts: Beyond material value

A gift becomes truly meaningful when it carries emotional weight, warmth, and appreciation. In an era characterized by material abundance, the art of giving meaningful gifts has evolved from the transactional to the emotionally significant. By prioritizing emotional value, we can return to the heart of gift-giving: an exchange of affection, appreciation, and heartfelt connection.

Selecting the perfect corporate holiday gift requires a blend of thoughtfulness and consideration. First, understand your recipient's preferences and interests, aiming for a gift that resonates on a personal level. Tailor your choice to align with your company's values and the recipient's professional context. High-quality and practical items are often appreciated, reflecting your commitment to their well-being. Consider timeless gifts that withstand trends, ensuring the gesture remains meaningful over time. Lastly, add a personalized touch through a handwritten note or custom packaging to showcase the care and attention that went into selecting the gift.

Still unsure how to pick the right corporate holiday gift? Read our rules for giving a good gift.

Corporate holiday gift guide

Our holiday gift catalog of festive business gifts has everything you need to gift with impact this season. Here are just a few of our favorites.

Chocolate sharing slab, with packaging, hammer and chocolate

Chocolate Sharing Slab & Hammer

Bean and Goose, $63, customizable.

Bottle of Negroni cocktail with red label


The River Cafe, $46.

One bottle of handwash, one bottle of handcream, from the Dr. Sturm brand

Hand Duo

Dr. Barbara Sturm, $134.

Hand and body products from Aesop with packaging

Congruous Kit, Hands & Body

Aesop, $109.

A portable, handheld massage gun

Theragun Mini

Theragun, $216.

waterproof bluetooth speaker in green and gold with red strap

Beosound A1 Speaker

Bang & Olufsen, $325.

A gold and cream tall jug with handle and pink interior glaze

Gold Stripe Jug

Matilda Goad & Co, $115.

A puzzle of seven brightly coloured stones that form a perfect cube

Cubestone Puzzle

DAR Proyectos, $86.

A green and cream pie dish

Sweetie Pie

Great Jones, $54.

Silver candle snuffer

Candle Snuffer

Diptyque, $30.

Slow Burn candle in red

Slow Burn candle

Boy Smells, $56.

Carton of olive oil with black and white packaging

Signature Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Onsuri, $21.

Celebrate the holiday season uniquely and thoughtfully with &Open. It's no longer simply about gifting but creating meaningful and heartfelt experiences to appreciate your team's hard work throughout the year.

Why you should gift with &Open this holiday season

Here's why using &Open for your holiday gifting needs is a game-changer:

Customized gifts: &Open encourages a personalized touch in gifting. The platform allows you to handpick gifts aligned with your team members' unique tastes and preferences and customize them. We also offer a fully branded gifting experience, from initial outreach to gift redemption.

The power of choice: Our gifting platform allows you to gift the joy of choice. Give your recipients the opportunity to choose between your selected physical, digital, or cause gifts to ensure they get the gift they want, every time.

Simplicity and efficiency: With &Open, we manage the entire gifting process - from picking the perfect item to ensuring timely delivery. No matter where your employees are, gifts reach them on time.

Emphasis on sustainability: We prioritize sustainable gifting in a season often marked by excess. Our selection features gifts from diverse vendors that align with our commitment to responsible practices and reducing waste.

Gift diversity: We offer a broad range of business gifts - physical items, subscriptions, vouchers, and even gifts contributing to significant causes - to ensure every team member receives a gift they truly appreciate.

Embrace the power of holiday gifting

The rich history of holiday gifting brings us all together. With each beautifully wrapped present, we're weaving a story of human connection. Let's continue spreading joy this holiday season and beyond.

Ready to harness the power of gifting? Get started.

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