Not everyone celebrates the season of goodwill in the same way. For some people Christmas Day is just a normal day of the week. Instead of exchanging gifts on 25th December, they prefer to focus on the end of the year as the main event of the festive period, and as the time to treat family and friends.
Anyone who is keen to avoid the stress of Christmas can follow suit, by circling the final date on personalised photo calendars, and celebrating in style to welcome in the New Year.
The Traditional New Year Gift
In many parts of the world, it’s customary to gift a bottle of champagne as an end of year present.
If you’ve been invited to a New Year’s Eve party, it’s good etiquette to gift your host a bottle of bubbles. It’s entirely up to you if you want to buy an affordable bottle of sparkling wine, of if you want to impress all the guests by splurging on a special bottle of premier quality champagne.
To instantly upgrade your traditional New Year gift, present the bottle of bubbly alcoholic beverage in an elegant metallic finish wine bag, or wrapped with gorgeous velvet or brocade fabric for a designer touch. Add a beautiful bow and a gift tag to finish.
Modern New Year Gift Ideas
If gifting a bottle of champagne is too obvious a gesture, and you want to surprise your party host with a unique gift instead, there are a number of modern gift choices that are perfectly acceptable.
For a host that is a close friend or family member you can gift them a piece of stunning jewellery or a pair of fine leather gloves. Ideally, your gift should be an item that personal, exclusive and long lasting. If you don’t know the party host well, choose a box of exquisite handmade chocolates or sweet treats.
Personalised photo calendars are an excellent end of year gift for the host who also happens to be your best friend. Select your favourite photographs of happy times that you’ve spent together through the years, and organise them in a chronological fashion. If you have photos of social occasions and events that took place during specific times of the year, (like birthdays, Easter, the summer holiday period, or Christmas) it’s a nice touch to show these snaps off in the corresponding months.
Embellish your highly photogenic arrangement with funny, sentimental and thoughtful comments and anecdotes to bring the memories of each photo to life. To optimise the viewing pleasure of your photo choices, choose an A4 size calendar that can be display on a feature wall. You can also theme your photography display with travel images, or simply show off a random selection of magical moments and candid portrait close-ups. If you’re worried that a wall hanging calendar may take up too much space, you can always opt for a smaller slimline, foil decorated version, or a photo desk calendar instead.
Ancient & Vintage Inspired New Year Gift Suggestions
In ancient times, the Celts exchanged gifts of the sacred plant of mistletoe, at the end of the year, to promote and encourage romance, vitality and fertility. The Romans were also partial to giving gifts of branches from sacred trees, in honour of Strenia, the goddess o good luck. Coins featuring the face of Janus, the god of January, were also given as New Year presents, along with delicious figs, dates, honey cakes and nuts.
Throughout centuries in England, royal kings and queens were typically presented with lavish gifts of jewels, silks and gold. Some monarchs received so many New Year gifts that the details had to be recorded in an official register, in order to keep track of who sent what gift. Common folk (ordinary people) pierced fresh oranges with cloves to give as end of the year gifts to loved ones. The fruit was used to give wine a warming, and spicy mulled flavour. Children were often given a small bible. In more recent times, the most popular gifts to give family and friends, at New Year, include gingerbread and marzipan treats, and wine.
In keeping with the vintage custom, you can choose edible gifts that are considered to be a luxury. Shop for artisanal chocolates presented in a chic box, or luxuriously indulgent hot chocolate mix.
Celebrating The Chinese New Year
Although for most cultures 1st January symbolises the start of a New Year, in China this special celebration takes place in the month of February, on the first lunar moon, and this annual event is the biggest celebration of the year for Chinese people.
Homes are decorated, and gifts are exchanged with loved ones during the week long festivities. It’s traditional and customary to gift a red Lai-See envelope that contains money. The envelopes are given to children and to unmarried adults, and the cash is generally used for treats. The colour red symbolises good luck and best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year. Smaller token gifts of fruits and flowers are also given.
If you’d like to celebrate the Chinese New Year this year, don’t forget to write it on your personalised photo calendars so that you don’t miss it. In 2022, the New Year officially begins on 1st February and this year will honour the animal sign of the Tiger.