Do Parents Put Presents Under the Tree: A Look into Holiday Traditions

Do parents put presents under the tree? It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and parents all around the world are getting ready to celebrate with family and friends. As we enter the holiday season, many parents are faced with the age-old question of whether or not to put presents under the tree. While some parents love the tradition of watching their children’s faces light up as they discover what Santa has brought them, others worry that the focus on gifts takes away from the true meaning of the season.

Whether or not to put presents under the tree is a personal decision that every family must make for themselves. Some parents choose to focus on other holiday traditions, like volunteering at a soup kitchen or attending a candlelight service. Others prefer to go all out when it comes to gift-giving, filling the space under the tree with presents of all shapes and sizes. Regardless of your approach, it’s important to remember that the holiday season is about cherishing time with loved ones, spreading love and joy, and giving back to those less fortunate.

The holidays can be a stressful time for parents, with all of the planning, shopping, and hosting that goes on. But at the end of the day, it’s the memories that matter most. Whether you choose to put presents under the tree or not, make time to connect with your family this holiday season. Whether it’s baking cookies together, watching classic holiday movies, or simply enjoying a meal around the table, these are the moments that will stay with your children for years to come. So light a fire in the fireplace, pour yourself a cup of eggnog, and enjoy the magic of the season.

History of placing presents under the tree

Placing presents under the Christmas tree has become a widely accepted tradition among many families during the holiday season. It’s a beautiful sight to see a beautifully decorated tree surrounded by beautifully wrapped presents, but have you ever wondered where this tradition originated from?

The act of placing presents under the Christmas tree can be traced back to the early 16th century in Germany. During this time, a holiday figure known as the “Christkind” or “Christ child” would bring gifts to children on Christmas Eve. The presents were often placed under the family’s Christmas tree, which was usually adorned with candles and other ornaments.

The tradition eventually made its way to North America in the late 18th century with German immigrants. At that time, the Christmas tree was not yet a widespread tradition in America, but it slowly gained popularity and became a common sight in households. By the 19th century, the tradition of placing presents under the tree became a common practice in North America.

Reasons for placing presents under the tree

  • To create excitement and anticipation for Christmas morning
  • To showcase the beauty of the Christmas tree and decorations
  • To have a designated place for presents to be displayed and organized

The significance of the Christmas tree

The Christmas tree has become a significant part of Christmas celebrations for many families. It’s a symbol of hope, joy, and new beginnings. The tree represents life, with its evergreen branches, and reminds us of the importance of family and togetherness during the holiday season. Placing gifts under the tree is a way to show love and appreciation for our loved ones during this special time of year.

The evolution of gift-giving during Christmas

Over time, the act of gift-giving during Christmas has evolved. In the past, gifts were typically simple and practical, such as fruit, nuts, or small toys. Today, the gifts are often more elaborate and expensive, with many people spending large amounts of money on presents during the holiday season.

Year Popular Christmas gifts
1900s Books, dolls, handmade gifts
1950s Toys such as hula hoops, Barbie dolls, and Slinky
2010s Electronics such as smartphones and tablets, clothing, and gift cards

Despite the changing trends in gift-giving, the tradition of placing gifts under the Christmas tree remains a constant reminder of the joy and love that comes with the holiday season.

Cultural differences in gift-giving traditions

Gift-giving traditions vary greatly across cultures. While in some countries it is customary to give gifts on Christmas day, in others it’s celebrated on other occasions, such as St. Nicholas Day or Epiphany. Below are some examples of cultural differences in gift-giving traditions:

  • Japan: In Japan, it’s customary to exchange gifts on New Year’s Day. This tradition is called “otoshidama” and adults give money to children, while children offer handwritten cards in return.
  • China: In China, gift-giving is often connected to luck and good fortune. During the Chinese New Year, red envelopes with money inside are given to children. Additionally, the number 8 is considered lucky, so gifts are often given in multiples of eight.
  • Israel: In Israel, Hanukkah is the holiday when gifts are exchanged. The tradition of giving gifts during Hanukkah did not exist until recent times as traditionally the exchange of money was carried out.

Other countries have different gift-giving customs; however, in most cultures, the act of giving gifts is a way of expressing love and appreciation towards others.

Another fascinating aspect of gift-giving traditions is the way presents are wrapped. In Japan, for example, wrapping a gift is considered an art form and it’s called “furoshiki”. This technique involves wrapping gifts in cloth and tying them with decorative ribbons or cords. In Western cultures, wrapping paper is much more common, with many people enjoying the intricate and detailed designs available.

Country Gift-giving Occasion
Japan New Year’s Day
China Chinese New Year
Israel Hanukkah

In conclusion, cultural differences in gift-giving traditions are fascinating and provide us with a glimpse into the values and customs of people from different parts of the world. Understanding these differences is essential when it comes to respecting and appreciating other cultures.

Psychological reasons for placing gifts under the tree

There’s something special about putting presents under the tree during the holiday season. It’s a tradition that’s been around for centuries, and there are several psychological reasons why parents continue to place gifts under the tree every year. In this article, we’ll explore a few of these reasons.

  • Anticipation: Placing gifts under the tree helps build anticipation and excitement for the upcoming holiday. Children often eagerly await the chance to open their presents, and seeing them wrapped and waiting under the tree only adds to the thrill.
  • Sense of Accomplishment: Gift-giving can be a way to showcase a sense of accomplishment, whereby the gifts act as tangible proof of a job well done. For example, parents may feel proud of themselves for saving up enough money to buy their children the gifts they want. This sense of accomplishment can boost self-esteem and well-being..
  • Tradition and Connection: Placing presents under the tree is a way to connect with family traditions, both old and new. It fosters togetherness and reinforces the meaning and significance of the holiday season. It can also create a sense of belonging and connection, not only within immediate family members but also with previous generations’ memories of this being done.

Overall, there are numerous psychological reasons why parents continue to place gifts under the tree during the holiday season. It’s a tradition that fosters feelings of anticipation, accomplishment, connection, and belonging. While giving is an act of kindness towards our loved ones, wrapping, and displaying the presents under the Evergreen Tree is an act and a symbol of tradition that every family must internalize and fondly extend as times goes by.

Impact of Commercialization on Gift-Giving Practices

The commercialization of holidays has significantly impacted the way parents approach gift-giving. With the rise of consumerism, gift-giving has become synonymous with buying expensive presents and competing with others for the most extravagant gift. Parents are now under immense pressure to spend more money and buy bigger, better gifts for their children, leading to the loss of the true essence of gift-giving.

  • One of the most significant impacts of commercialization on gift-giving practices is the increasing focus on material possessions. Children are bombarded with advertisements and marketing campaigns from retailers urging them to desire the latest toys, gadgets, and clothes. As a result, parents feel compelled to buy these items to meet their children’s expectations and keep up with their friends and peers.
  • Commercialization has also led to the expectation of receiving gifts on every occasion, including birthdays, Christmas, Easter, and even Valentine’s Day. This constant gift-giving culture has created a sense of entitlement among children, which can be detrimental to their character development and values.
  • The rise of consumerism has also led to the overabundance of cheap, disposable items that are often made overseas in poor working conditions. Parents may feel the need to buy many gifts to compensate for their low price, leading to an excess of clutter and waste that can harm the environment.

It’s crucial for parents to remember the true meaning of gift-giving, which is to express love, gratitude, and appreciation for the people in our lives. Parents should focus on thoughtful, meaningful gifts that align with their children’s interests and values, rather than succumbing to the pressure of buying expensive, trendy items.

To combat the negative impacts of commercialization on gift-giving practices, parents can set realistic expectations with their children, encourage experiences over material possessions, and prioritize sustainable and ethical gifts. By prioritizing the true value of gift-giving, parents can provide their children with meaningful and memorable presents that will last a lifetime.


The commercialization of holidays and gift-giving practices has transformed the way we approach the act of giving. Parents must be mindful of the impact of consumerism on their children’s expectations and values and prioritize the true essence of gift-giving. With thoughtful, meaningful gifts and a focus on experiences rather than material possessions, parents can create a lasting impact on their children’s character and values.

Positive impact Negative impact
More options available for gift-giving. Pressure to spend more money to meet expectations.
Opportunity to express love and appreciation. Encouragement of materialism and entitlement.
Provides a chance for people to connect and bond. Excess of clutter and waste from disposable items.

By recognizing the positive and negative impacts of commercialization on gift-giving practices, we can create a more mindful, thoughtful approach to gift-giving that prioritizes the true essence of the act – expressing love and appreciation for the people in our lives.

DIY Gift-Wrapping Ideas

One of the joys of gift-giving is the ritual of wrapping presents and putting them under the tree. However, store-bought wrapping paper can be costly and sometimes not eco-friendly. Here are five DIY gift-wrapping ideas that not only look beautiful but are also budget-friendly:

  • Newspaper: Use black and white newspaper pages to wrap small gifts. You can use colored ribbons or draw on the paper with markers for a pop of color.
  • Fabric: Cut old fabric or scarves into squares, wrap your gift, and secure with a ribbon. Not only does it look rustic and unique, but the receiver can reuse the fabric.
  • Brown Bags: Use brown paper bags and fold them inside out. Decorate the bag with paint, markers, or stamps for a personal touch.
  • Maps: Use old maps to wrap your gifts. It’s perfect for the nomad in your life, and it looks whimsical and adventurous.
  • Mason Jars: Put small gifts or treats in a mason jar, and tie a ribbon with a tag around the jar. It’s a unique and practical way to give a gift.

Tips for Wrapping Gifts

When wrapping presents, it’s easy to get frustrated and give up. Here are some tips that will make the process go smoothly:

  • Clean Work Station: Before starting, clear a clean workspace. It’s easier to wrap paper when you have space to work.
  • Corner Hack: When folding the corners over the gift, use a pencil or pen to create a sharp crease. This will make the gift look tidier.
  • Double-Sided Tape: Use double-sided tape for a more polished look. It will give the gift a seamless look with no bumps or wrinkles from regular tape.
  • Topper: Finish off your wrapped gift with a bow or ribbon. It adds a thoughtful and festive touch to the gift.

The Benefits of DIY Gift-Wrapping

Not only is DIY gift-wrapping budget-friendly, but it’s also eco-friendly. Using newspaper, brown bags, or fabric to wrap your gifts is way better than using store-bought wrapping paper that will end up in the trash. Additionally, it shows that you put time and effort into the gift. Your loved one will appreciate the thoughtfulness put into the presentation of the gift, as well as the gift itself.


Wrapping presents doesn’t have to be a daunting task anymore. DIY gift-wrapping ideas are easy, cost-effective, and add a touch of uniqueness and sentimental value to your gifts. With a few tips and tricks, gift-wrapping can be a fun and enjoyable process.

Pros Cons
Budget-friendly Time-consuming
Eco-friendly May not be as polished as store-bought wrapping paper
Thoughtful and Personal May require some craft skill

At the end of the day, it’s not about the wrapping paper, but the sentiment behind the gift. However, a beautiful wrapped gift is an additional bonus and a great way to show your loved ones how much you care.

Eco-friendly gift wrapping alternatives

As parents, we want to give our children the best possible gifts during the holiday season. However, the traditional way of wrapping gifts can create a lot of waste and have a significant impact on the environment. Here are some eco-friendly gift wrapping alternatives that can help reduce waste and make the gift-giving experience even more meaningful:

  • Reusable gift bags: Instead of using wrapping paper that ends up in the trash, consider using a reusable gift bag. These bags come in various sizes and can be used for years to come.
  • Fabric wrapping: Another reusable option is to use fabric as gift wrap. This could be as simple as using a scarf or as ornate as using a Japanese Furoshiki cloth to wrap the gift.
  • Newspaper: If you prefer to use paper, consider using old newspapers or even pages from a magazine instead of buying traditional wrapping paper. Not only is it eco-friendly, but it can also add a unique touch to the gift.

DIY gift wrap alternatives

Another way to reduce waste and be more eco-friendly is by creating your own gift wrap alternatives:

  • Kraft paper: Kraft paper is a popular option for DIY gift wrapping. This unbleached brown paper can be decorated with stamps, markers, or paint for a personalized touch.
  • Fabric scraps: If you have fabric scraps lying around, you can use them to create unique gift-wrap designs. Simply cut the fabric to the size you need and use twine or ribbon to tie it up!
  • Paper bags: If you have some plain paper bags lying around, you can easily turn them into gift wrap. Paint or draw on them, add a ribbon, and you have a personalized, eco-friendly gift wrap!

Eco-friendly wrapping supplies

Choosing eco-friendly wrapping supplies can also help reduce waste. Here are some options to consider:

  • Twine or ribbon: Instead of using plastic ribbons, opt for twine or ribbon made from natural materials like cotton, jute, or hemp.
  • Adhesive tape alternative: Traditional tape is not recyclable. Consider using double-sided tape or Washi tape, which is made from renewable materials like bamboo or rice.
  • Eco-friendly gift tags: Instead of buying gift tags, use recycled paper and cut out your tags! You could also donate to charity, so someone has a bit of joy this festive season.

Wrapping it up in a sustainable way

Being eco-friendly isn’t difficult, and it can even add some special meaning to the gift-giving experience. With these eco-friendly gift wrapping alternatives and supplies, you can make a positive impact and show your children the importance of being environmentally conscious.

Eco-friendly alternative Pros Cons
Reusable gift bags Can be used for years. Some can be expensive.
Fabric wrapping Reusable and adds a personal touch. May require special folds or techniques.
Newspaper or magazine pages Accessible and often free. Not ideal for all gifts/wrapping shapes.
Kraft paper Can be decorated for a unique look. May require additional supplies like stamps or markers.
Fabric scraps Uses up scraps that would otherwise be thrown away. Requires sewing or cutting skills.
Paper bags Accessible and can often be found lying around. May not be suitable for all gift sizes.

By considering eco-friendly gift wrapping alternatives this holiday season, you can do your part in reducing waste and protecting the environment.

Safety concerns when placing gifts under the tree

As parents, we want our children to be happy and excited when they wake up on Christmas morning to find gifts waiting for them under the tree. However, we also need to be mindful of safety concerns when placing gifts under the tree.

  • Avoid placing gifts that contain small parts or sharp objects near the bottom of the tree where young children can reach them. These items can be choking hazards or cause injuries if handled improperly.
  • Keep flammable materials such as wrapping paper, ribbons, and bows away from heat sources such as lit candles or a fireplace. A stray spark could easily ignite these materials and cause a fire.
  • Ensure that large or heavy gifts are placed securely and do not present a tipping hazard. This is especially important if you have curious young children or pets that may climb or play near the tree.

Another safety concern to keep in mind is the possibility of theft or break-ins. Unfortunately, some people see the holiday season as an opportunity to steal gifts or break into homes to steal valuables. To minimize this risk:

  • Close all blinds or curtains to prevent potential thieves from seeing the gifts under the tree from outside.
  • Consider installing a security system or using motion-activated lights to deter potential intruders.
  • Do not leave gifts in your car overnight, as this can attract thieves.

While we want to create a magical and memorable holiday experience for our children, we also need to prioritize their safety. By following these guidelines, we can ensure that the gifts under the tree are both joyous and secure.

Here’s a table summarizing the safety concerns to keep in mind:

Safety Concern How to Address It
Choking hazards from small parts or sharp objects Avoid placing these items near the bottom of the tree
Fire hazards from flammable materials Keep these items away from heat sources
Tipping hazards from large or heavy gifts Securely place these gifts and be mindful of potential climbers or playing pets
Risk of theft or break-ins Close blinds, consider security measures, and do not leave gifts in your car overnight

Impact of Social Media on Gift Presentation

The presence of social media has certainly influenced the way people present their gifts during the holiday season. With the constant exposure to viral videos of extravagantly wrapped gifts and picture-perfect gift baskets, it’s no surprise that parents feel the need to up their gift-wrapping game.

  • One impact of social media on gift presentation is the pressure to have the most elaborately wrapped gifts. This could lead to overspending on wrapping supplies, or even outsourcing the task to professional gift-wrappers.
  • Another impact is the desire to showcase the gifts on social media. Parents may delay putting presents under the tree until they have the perfect lighting or background for a photo. This could result in an untimely reveal of gifts, or a delay in children receiving their presents.
  • Social media has also influenced the type of gifts that parents choose to present. With the rise of “unboxing” videos, parents may opt for gifts with trendy packaging, rather than practicality or sentimental value.

While social media has certainly affected the way parents present their gifts, it’s important to remember that the holiday season is not about the perfect gift, but about spending time with loved ones.

Wrapping Techniques Gone Viral

With social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube, there are countless tutorials on how to wrap gifts in unique and creative ways. Some techniques that have gained popularity include:

  • Furoshiki – a Japanese wrapping technique using cloth instead of traditional wrapping paper
  • DIY printed wrapping paper – using stamps or stencils to create custom wrapping paper
  • Gift-wrapping with recycled materials – using old newspapers, maps, or sheet music to wrap gifts in a sustainable and creative way

Environmental Impact

The pressure to have beautifully wrapped gifts has led to an increase in gift wrap waste. According to the Clean Air Council, the US alone produces 4 million tons of waste from gift wrap and shopping bags each year.

Material Recyclable? Sustainable Alternatives
Glossy Wrapping Paper No Kraft Paper, Furoshiki Wraps
Tissue Paper Yes, if not metallic or glittery Reusable Fabric Bags or Tissue
Ribbon No Cloth, Raffia
Tape No Biodegradable Tape

By opting for sustainable gift-wrapping alternatives, parents can reduce their environmental impact and still present beautifully wrapped gifts.

Gifts as a tool for discipline or reward

Parents often use gifts as a tool for discipline or reward, and this can be a controversial topic. Some parents believe that using gifts as a reward for good behavior is a way to encourage their child to behave well, while others believe that it can lead to entitlement and an unhealthy focus on material possessions. Similarly, some parents believe that taking away gifts as a punishment is an effective form of discipline, while others believe that it can be too harsh and damaging to a child’s self-esteem.

  • Using gifts as a reward: When used appropriately, gifts can be a positive reinforcement for good behavior. For example, a parent might promise to buy their child a toy if they do well on a test or complete a chore. This can motivate children to work hard and achieve their goals. However, it’s important to balance this with other forms of praise and recognition, such as verbal praise and quality time spent together.
  • Taking away gifts as a punishment: This can be a controversial form of discipline, as it can send the message that a child’s worth is tied to material possessions. However, some parents find that taking away a favorite toy or gadget can be an effective consequence for misbehavior. It’s important to have clear rules and consequences in place, and to explain to your child why the gift is being taken away.
  • The danger of materialism: When gifts become the primary way a child is rewarded, it can lead to an unhealthy focus on material possessions. It’s important to balance gifts with other forms of positive reinforcement and to teach your child the value of experiences and intangible rewards such as love, respect, and personal growth.

Ultimately, the use of gifts as a tool for discipline or reward is a personal choice that depends on your parenting style and values. Whether you decide to use gifts as a reward or punishment, it’s important to communicate clearly with your child about your expectations and motivations, and to strive to create a healthy balance of material and emotional reinforcement.

Pros Cons
-Can motivate children to work hard and achieve their goals -Can lead to entitlement and an unhealthy focus on material possessions
-Can provide a tangible representation of a child’s accomplishments -Can send the message that a child’s worth is tied to material possessions
-Can be a fun and exciting way to celebrate special occasions and milestones -Over-reliance on gifts as a reward can diminish the value of other forms of praise and recognition

Overall, the use of gifts as a tool for discipline or reward is a complex issue that requires thoughtful consideration. By balancing material reinforcement with emotional validation, parents can help their children develop confidence, resilience, and a healthy sense of self-worth.

Religious Perspectives on Gift-Giving During Holidays

Gift-giving during holidays is a long-standing tradition in many cultures around the world. However, the way people approach gift-giving can vary depending on their religious beliefs. Here, we’ll explore some of the religious perspectives on gift-giving during holidays.

Christianity and Gift-Giving

  • Christianity views gift-giving as a way of expressing love and gratitude for others during the holiday season.
  • The practice of giving gifts during Christmas is based on the story of the Three Wise Men who brought gifts for Jesus.
  • Some Christians see gift-giving as a way of emulating God, who gave his son Jesus as a gift to humanity.

Judaism and Gift-Giving

In Judaism, gift-giving is often practiced during Hanukkah, which is also known as the Festival of Lights. During this holiday, it is traditional to give small gifts or tokens to loved ones on each of the eight nights of the holiday. This custom serves to remind Jews of the miracle of the oil that kept the menorah lit for eight days and nights in the Temple in Jerusalem.

Islam and Gift-Giving

In Islam, gift-giving is considered a form of kindness and generosity. It is encouraged to give gifts during the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. This holiday is a time of celebration and gratitude, and giving gifts is a way of showing appreciation for loved ones and the blessings of the past month.

Hinduism and Gift-Giving

Gift-giving plays an important role in Hinduism, particularly during the festival of Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights. During this holiday, families exchange gifts and sweets as a way of enjoying the company of loved ones and sharing in the festive spirit. It is also believed that giving gifts during Diwali brings good luck and prosperity to the recipient.

Religion Major Holiday Customs of Gift-Giving
Christianity Christmas Expressing love and gratitude through gift-giving
Judaism Hanukkah Giving small gifts or tokens on each of the eight nights
Islam Eid al-Fitr Giving gifts as a form of kindness and generosity
Hinduism Diwali Exchanging gifts and sweets to enjoy the company of loved ones and bring good luck and prosperity

It is clear that gift-giving is an important tradition that is deeply rooted in many cultures and religions. Whether it is to express love and gratitude or to celebrate a holiday, gift-giving can bring joy and happiness to those who give and receive. Understanding the religious perspectives on gift-giving can help us appreciate the meaning behind this tradition even more.

FAQs: Do Parents Put Presents Under the Tree?

1. Do parents put presents under the tree before Christmas?

Yes, many parents like to place presents under the tree in advance, to build up excitement and anticipation for the big day.

2. Should presents be wrapped before they’re placed under the tree?

Yes, it’s customary to wrap presents before placing them under the tree. This adds to the excitement and mystery of gift-giving.

3. Can parents wait until Christmas morning to place presents under the tree?

Absolutely! Some parents prefer to wait until the last minute to put presents under the tree, making Christmas morning all the more exciting.

4. Is it standard to place presents for everyone in the family under the tree?

Yes, it’s typical for each family member to have presents under the tree, although some parent might choose to put them in stockings instead.

5. Do parents always buy presents for their children?

While every family and holiday tradition is different, parents who celebrate Christmas typically buy gifts for their children.

6. Should parents reveal who the presents are from before Christmas?

Not necessarily! Part of the excitement of Christmas morning is guessing who the gifts are from before tearing the wrapping paper off.

7. Is it ever too late for parents to put presents under the tree?

As long as presents are placed under the tree before they’re opened on Christmas morning, it’s never too late to put gifts out.

Closing Thoughts on Do Parents Put Presents Under the Tree

Thank you for reading these FAQs about Christmas gift-giving traditions! Now that you know more about whether parents put presents under the tree, we hope you’re feeling more excited and ready for the holiday season. Whether you’re enjoying a cozy white Christmas with your family, or a sunny December day with your friends, we wish you the happiest of holidays! Come back soon for more festive articles like this one.