So what are you guys giving people for the holidays or Christmas? Do you give gifts to you coworkers or if you are the boss to your employees or good clients? Back when I had my own business in the jewelry trade I used to receive more gifts than I could handle. Everything from boxes of chocolates to wines and liquors. It was the gift baskets that I really enjoyed getting the most though and that’s what I also usually gave to my clients that gave me the most business throughout the whole year.
Just how did the whole tradition of giving gifts and holiday gift baskets begin anyway? Well, it all started with the kindly Christian saint Bishop Nicholas. Somehow it was him that ended up being the model for our now red suited Santa Claus in North America.
It was actually the first Europeans that arrived in the new world that brought the idea of St. Nicholas with them. The idea of St. Nic didn’t quite take at first though as early 16th century Protestant reformists took a dim view of saints. They tried to stamp out St. Nicholas related customs but didn’t have much luck. Over in England St. Nicholas was busy changing Christmas traditions as St. Nic was beloved by the English commoners.
It wasn’t until sometime after the American Revolution that New Yorkers remembered the colonies near forgotten Dutch roots. A New York Historical society was founded by John Pintard in 1804, and it promoted St. Nicholas as the patron saint of Society and city. In 1809 the satirical story known as Knickerbocker’s History of New York was published by Washington Irving, a newly joined member of the society. Within that novel there were a number of references to St. Nicholas as a jolly character. He was no longer a saintly bishop, now he was an Elfin character of Dutch decent with a clay pipe! Irvings work was noted as the first work of imagination in the New World.
The first St. Nicholas Day was held on December 6th, 1810, and the first American image of St. Nicholas was created by Alexander Anderson. Nicholas was portrayed giving gifts to to children by putting treats in stockings hung over the fireplace. In 1823 a poem written with the title “A visit from St. Nicholas” later became what we know today as “The night before Christmas”.
Now you can be your very own St. Nicholas by giving a quality crafted gift basket full of gourmet treats to your colleagues, clients, housewarmings and as holiday gifts. Custom wrapping is available for holiday gift baskets just tell the folks at Gourmet Gift Baskets what you’re looking for and they do something to fit your needs.