With Christmas fast approaching, we’ve been super busy here at Mon Dessert putting together the perfect dessert tins for the gifting season.
But why do we give gifts at christmas? And how has the custom of gift-giving changed over the years?
We know that the winter solstice, around 21st / 22nd December, was an important time during the Neolithic period. At this time people gathered together at sites like Stonehenge for feasting and gift exchanging to commemorate the end of the year and the beginning of the next.
In pre-Roman times there was also a tradition of giving gifts in the New Year. At the beginning of each year the Druids gave out sprigs of their sacred plant mistletoe to wish their people good fortune for the year ahead. Under Roman rule these gifts became known as strenae, named after the goddess of good fortune.
Saturnalia, the most popular holiday of the ancient Roman calendar, drew inspiration from these earlier celebrations. Beginning on the 17th of December and running through to the 23rd, it was a time for partying, feasting and private gift-giving.
During this time, work was put to one side, and masters waited on their servants. People exchanged joke gifts, handmade presents and even home made food.
Choosing the right gift was important and usually reflected social status.
As Christianity spread into the Roman world, gift giving also tied in better with the Biblical story of the Magi giving gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the infant Jesus at Epiphany. The Bible’s New Testament describes the Three Magi — Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar — journeying to the location of Jesus’s birth by following a star, and upon their arrival, presenting him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
However, the practice is not something that is exclusive to Christianity, as several other religions mark the end of the year with a similar custom, such as the Jewish festival of lights Hanukkah or the Hindu celebration of Pancha Ganapati in honour of Lord Ganesha.
However you are looking to celebrate this December, look no further than our beautiful baking gift tins. Each one has been made with a unique design making the tins lovely keepsakes to treasure - perfect for repurposing with biscuits, cakes and even makeup brushes and hair ties - the list is endless!
Take a look at each of our Christmas gift tins below which can easily be modified to vegan, flexitarian and gluten free diets:
- Christmas Macaron Gift Tin - This version is our limited edition Noël kit, where each macaron is decorated like a mini Christmas pudding and filled with delicious cinnamon and brandy buttercream (you can leave out the brandy if you prefer)!
- Chocolat & Gold Macaron Gift Tin - This recipe is advanced and takes 2.5 hours. Great for those who want to push their pastry chef skills to the max!
- Mille Feuille Gift Tin - This is an advanced recipe designed to challenge you and develop your pastry chef skills. You'll be making rough puff pastry from scratch and learning how to create the distinctive chevron icing and layer this classic Mille Feuille.
Want to explore the full Christmas range? Click here!
Happy Dessert Making!
The Mon Dessert Team x
All recipes can be adapted to a vegan diet using flax eggs and non dairy butter.