Your first holiday season in an actual office can be a bit...odd. There's no winter break, no snow days, and there's a good chance you start and end your day in the dark. And then, of course, there's the question of gifts. Do you give gifts to everyone? No one? Do you go the personalized route? Does everyone receive the same box of cool and fun Post-Its? If you're feeling a little stuck this year, check out the best 2017 gifts for your co-workers for some inspiration as you do your holiday shopping.
Though the practice of gift giving during the holiday season is often traced back to the gifts of the Three Wisemen — gold, frankincense and myrhh — its history actually traces back even further, according to The Week. Pagan practitioners in both Europe and the Middle East engaged in mid-winter, post-harvest festivals. One of the most notorious was the Roman festival of Saturnalia, which ran for a full week beginning around Dec. 17. Revelers celebrating Saturn, the god of agriculture, would get rowdy, eat, drink to excess, and exchange gifts like pottery figurines and edible treats. They greeted one another with "Io Saturnalia," which functioned essentially how "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" does today.
The function of Saturnalia, along with other midwinter pagan traditions, was to provide a bit of light and warmth during the coldest, darkest months of the year. Giving gifts, boozin' it up a bit — it was all seen as a way of supporting one another through what was undoubtedly a very difficult season (I mean, hi, winter is still difficult, and we live in a world with heat and electricity). So if you're feeling apprehensive about the religious implications of gift-giving this year, maybe adopting a pagan Roman mindset can help. You're raising one another's spirits, and gifting really cute desk accessories in the process.
Ready to go shopping?