Christmas is getting closer and closer and company workers are eagerly waiting for a Christmas basket full of products. It is very common to find polvorones, turrones, cold meat and alcohol in Christmas baskets, although there are much more original, but… do you know the origin of Christmas baskets? We’ll tell you about it.

Christmas baskets: The origin

We must go back a few centuries and situate ourselves in the time of the Roman Empire, since they were the ones who started with this tradition. In those times it became customary for the employer to distribute food baskets to workers as a gift, the basket that was distributed was known as «sportula».

The sportula was very similar to today’s Christmas baskets, was made of wicker and was delivered in December on the occasion of the celebration of the pagan festival Saturnalia, in honor of the god Saturn. Little by little this tradition spread.

In Spain, this custom began to be popular from the nineteenth century, choosing Christmas as the date to make this gift, but also extended to other countries such as Italy or England. The custom was adopted especially by public organizations and gradually became popular so that private companies also decided to give gifts to their workers.

Today Spain is one of the countries that tend to distribute more baskets, although with the economic crisis suffered in 2008 there were many companies that chose not to make this gift in order to save, in recent years with the economic recovery, most companies continue with the tradition. We can find baskets of all budgets, which can range from those valued at € 30 to baskets valued at more than € 1000.