Christmas Gift Traditions in Eastern Europe

Christmas is the most important family holiday of the year in all East European countries, which is celebrated on December 25. The buildup to the great festivity starts on December 6th, the feast of St. Nicholas, the patron of children. In most countries he brings obedient children small gifts and candies on this day.

The Christmas celebration lasts for two or three days, and always starts with the Christmas Eve dinner. Traditionally dinner should begin when the first star appears in the sky. Catholic and Greek Orthodox families do not have any meat dishes on Christmas Eve, as this day is considered a day of fast. After the dinner, often consisting of 12 dishes, East Europeans usually exchange gifts.

Most Catholics attend Christmas midnight Mass. Others go to festive church services on Christmas morning. In the afternoon families have Christmas dinner which can include meat, such as goose or turkey. Besides, every country has some special dishes which are traditionally served only during this great holiday.

In most countries the day after Christmas, St. Stephen’s Day, is still a day off work. Various kinds of festivities continue until January 6th, the Feast of Epiphany commemorating the arrival of the Three Wise Men at the manger of baby Jesus. Decorations and Christmas trees are not removed until after that day.

As you see, East Europeans adore holidays and the same is about gifts. They take pleasure in giving and receiving gifts and are often lavish. If you want to make an appropriate Christmas gift for your friends or business associates from East Europe, follow these simple tips.

When selecting a Christmas business gift for a person from East Europe you should avoid such personal items as clothing, perfumes, cosmetics and others. The best choice is a high-quality spirits gift basket or wine basket complimented with snacks, sweets or gourmet items. If you do not know the recipient well enough, set your choice on a healthy Christmas fruit basket or sumptuous Christmas gourmet basket most appropriate at a big corporate or family gatherings.

A bit more personal is a Christmas gift basket with flowers and a Christmas chocolate basket, particularly suitable for a female recipient as both romantic and business gift. For a romantic Christmas gift nothing’s better than a splendid spa gift basket, soft teddy bear, fine chocolate and a bottle of Champagne.

Take your time to choose the gift that will delight the recipient and make their Christmas the most special one, full of magic and miracles!

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