Modern inspiration from traditional Christmas gifts

Just like decorating a Christmas tree, giving gifts is a time-honoured part of the festive season. The tradition started at pagan winter festivals like the Saturnalia, and was adopted by the Christian Church as an homage to the Three Wise Men and their gifts to the baby Jesus.

To help you imbue this year’s celebrations with a traditional feel, we’ve rounded up some classic Christmas gift ideas for every member of the family.

Hamburg - Find something special for everyone on your list this Christmas with our traditional gift ideas.

Traditional treats for mothers

Evoke all the homely spirit of a Christmas market or family evenings around the fire with a hot chocolate kit. To add a particularly personal touch, you can create one yourself: simply fill a decorative tin with a package of premium chocolate flakes or buttons, perhaps in several flavours, together with some toppings (mini marshmallows are a classic choice) and a small handwritten recipe booklet.

For mothers in need of relaxation around the holidays, snug fleece-lined slippers or luxurious spa products make ideal gifts. Alternatively, help her turn up the cosiness of her interior design with seasonally scented candles or a knitted throw.

Great gifts for fathers

Traditional Christmas gifts for fathers often draw on his hobbies for a thoughtful gift he’s sure to love. For example, a gift voucher for a garden centre allows him to choose the supplies he needs so that he's ready to spruce up his garden as soon as spring arrives. Chic porcelain espresso cups are a classic gift to elevate a home office, particularly when paired with Christmas gift boxes of fair-trade coffee beans.

Perfect presents for grandmothers

Give Grandma a break from the kitchen by showering her with traditional baked treats. Fill Christmas gift boxes with homemade gingerbread men, Russian tea cakes or butter cookies in festive shapes for a delicious homemade package.

For a special present to share, you can also look to Italy for baking inspiration, where panettone is still one of the most well-loved traditional Christmas gifts. The classic recipe for these sweet, egg-enriched loaves contains candied fruit, vanilla and citrus, but there are also many modern twists to try, from chocolate chips to a splash of coffee.

Inspiring indulgences for grandfathers

Books are a traditional gift in many countries, notably in Iceland, with its Jólabókaflóð or ‘Christmas book flood’. This refers to the flood of new releases in the final weeks of the year, and hence to the tradition of giving gifts of books on Christmas Eve. Find a volume for Grandpa that’s tailored to his interests, whether it’s a philosophical tome or a memoir.

Top toys for children

Children all over the world receive sweets on Christmas morning from Sinterklaas in the Netherlands, Père Noel in France and St Nicholas in Germany. For younger children, toys like hand-carved rocking horses and retro-styled wooden racing cars still generate huge excitement when they’re discovered under the Christmas tree. Cosy blankets in a bright print or handmade knitwear and accessories offer a warming touch for the winter months. For older children, experiences like days out at an amusement park or spa allow you to make memories together.

These traditional Christmas gifts are enduring classics for a reason: they blend quality with heritage. Whether they’re homemade or carefully picked out from a shop, they give you an opportunity to create new family traditions and memories.

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