You cannot really celebrate Christmas without giving to your beloved ones gifts and cards, smaller or bigger presents aiming just to put a smile on their faces. The festive mood of the twelve days of the holiday season may have taken over the original religious feeling but the ancient traditions of exchanging gifts survives to date with children anxiously looking forward to St. Basil’s (Santa Claus) arrival after the New Year’s Eve clock has struck midnight. In Greece it is rather typical to exchange small yet symbolical gifts including wines, sweets and homemade delicacies.
The following short list aims to help the ones still making up their mind on what presents they should give this Christmas to their friends and relatives. Getting a present for everyone is not always an easy thing to do but online shopping can always bring vast possibilities into your hands before heading to the shops.
Try something different this year by shopping online on the innovative Greek gift store Doromu.com that not only brings excellent handcrafted products to you but also gives a portion of the revenues back to debt-hit Greece. Consult with your budget and make up your mind for something alternative yet beautiful and original in taste and design.
Keep calm and play komboloi… With a wide selection in traditional Greek handmade komboloi and begleri, we suggest this burgundy red komboloi made from metal and synthetic resin beads ($12.99). Greek Worry Beads are a great way to stay calm and make a memorable gift relating to the Greek culture and easy going mentality. Komboloi can also be used for decoration in any room.
If you are looking for something more elegant perhaps for your significant other or your wife, why not try a 24K double meander pendant ($69,95) that is inspired by the Greek meander symbol, known also as the Greek Key. The pendant is hand crafted with extra care in solid 925 sterling silver and then it is gold plated in 24K gold. A perfect gift idea, provided with a cord choker, full of symbolism and value of the past and the present.
A handmade Greek Orthodox icon is a Greek classic gift. Prices range from about $20 for a wooden Orthodox icon to $60 for a sterling silver Orthodox icon decorated with Swarovski crystals. The depicted carved wooden Byzantine Icon of Virgin Mary and Jesus is an excellent option for a short cut budget ($19.99) and will definitely be appreciated by any art enthusiast or religious person.
You can always go for something of practical use that will be definitely used by the housewife in a room. Unique Greek doilies with handmade designs that can be also easily turned into decorative pieces from Greece are a good gift to give. They can be used to decorate your beds, tables, nightstands, sofas and more. This vibrant red lined doily (medium size) is an excellent piece of Greek traditional art to decorate your festive house and bring a sense of extra warmth to Christmas time.
This may be an unusual gift to give to someone in winter but the holder will surely appreciate and make the most of it during summer. Greek leather sandals are made of beautiful Greek natural leather that ages with time and wear are an alternative choice for a present that will surprise the recipient. Available in brown color the sandals once worn by god Hermes are extremely popular in Greece.
Other gift ideas you can find in stores around Greece as well as on the Internet include silver coated or clay pomegranate figurines in all possible sizes and colors. A pretty and handy decorative Christmas present to give to your beloved ones, the pomegranate holds strong symbolic meaning for the Greeks from the ancient times to date. It is traditional in Greece to break a pomegranate on the ground at weddings and on New Years, and small decorative figurines are a symbol of good luck, abundance and fertility.
You can also go for some ceramic ornaments for the Christmas tree in the shape of a traditional Greek island church, pomegranate, small ship or handmade glass ball that you can find in most stores.
Good luck charms (Gouria in Greek) are also a good gift to consider. The gouri is a traditional Greek New Year’s gift that loses its charm if bought. So you can only give it as a present to the ones you love to bring them luck for the year to come. Designs and materials may vary, just like their prices, but gouria are the best symbol of love and protection you can offer to someone.
Moreover, wines and boxes full of melomakarona and kourabiedes are a typical gift to bear when visiting in Greece during the holidays. Sweets and tasty wines or champagne are always appreciated in any Greek house.
Another great gift that brings good luck is the handmade 925 Sterling Silver pair of earrings, representing the evil eye protective symbol. This classy pair of earrings is suitable for everyday use and a perfect gift idea for you and your beloved ones. The evil eye is a protective and good luck symbol that keeps the harm away from those bearing it.