Quite inaccurately, the modern act of giving gifts has been strongly associated with Christmas. Specifically, there is widespread belief that the traces its origins on the deeds of the 3 wise men who offered gold, frankincense and myrrh to Jesus on his birth which became a noble act Christians to emulate and follow.
Although there is reason to believe so, gift-giving has been with us since time immemorial although the symbolic and practical value has changed due to changing circumstances. In more primeval societies, gift-giving was normally associated with rituals and tribal ways of paying homage, respect or solidarity. In war-time societies, gift-giving had more practical dimensions since it helped forge peace between or among warring nations. The variety of purpose and various evolution is perhaps why today, gift-giving has become routine in almost any random occasions.
Whether celebrating an accomplishment, job promotions, anniversaries, winning a contest or sports there are gifts to go around.
In Singapore, these celebrations often entail giving gifts and wine has become such a commonplace gift for these festivities. Understandably, wine “toasting” and feasts have become a historically synonymous as expressions of libations, honouring people and victories. But more recently, gourmet hampers have also become very popular even ideal gift items in Singapore today. Gourmet hampers are gift packages that include food and drink and are often called gift baskets that typically include fruits, chocolates and other food items.
But the more popular type of gourmet hamper is the simple fruit basket due to its appropriateness sin many occasions. In other words, it simply suits any occasions. But fruit baskets in Singapore are not the usual cut-and-dried type. There are plenty “sets” to choose from. There are sets of fresh selections of delicious apples, pear, plum, kiwi fruits, oranges and tangerine packed in sturdy, reusable round wicker basket which is best for health buffs or gifts for recovering patients. There are also Hawaiian fruit basket that contain healthy traditional fruits. Apples, kiwi fruits, plums, orange, satsumas and bananas in classic rustic willow basket. And further still, there are luxurious health fruit baskets that contain fruits in addition to a selection of gourmet hampers with English tea sets which contains clotted cream, strawberry, lemon, or raspberry jams complemented by English tea.
But unlike gourmet hampers and fruit baskets, some gifts are distinctly for very specific occasions. For instance, for more somber occasions like sudden and unfortunate incidences like death, flowers and condolences wreath are the more appropriate gifts. These wreaths often called sympathy flowers, are given to the family who were left behind particularly to express concern and expresses well-wishes in times such a difficult time. The expression of solidarity in mourning and grief is made further specific through accompanying cards or message that expresses a sense of understanding and support. In Singapore, wreath are special flower arranged on an easel that are usually displayed during wakes in funeral home, mortuary or church service. But in Singapore, there are also standing flower cross or standing flower heart is which are called so due to their shape. However, the more basic flower wreaths are typically circular to symbolize eternal life.