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Flowers for Any Occasion (and any Holiday)

When stumped for what to get your friends for various holidays and life events, flowers are usually the right answer. Flowers lift spirits, brighten up a room and last more than one day so they can be enjoyed even when your friend is alone after a momentous occasion.

Choosing the right flowers that match the spirit of the occasion being celebrated can make flowers an incredibly thoughtful gift rather than a last-minute purchase at the grocery store on the way to your friend’s party. Flowers also carry a long history of meaning and symbolism that can be played upon to give your friends a memorable gift for their celebration. Different celebrations may call for different types of flowers, so here are some ideas for how to gift flowers for several major occasions that you may not have thought of.

Hanukkah, also known as the Jewish Festival of Lights, is all about remembering the second dedication of the temple in Jerusalem in the 160s BCE. Hanukkah spans eight days, and on each day another candle on the menorah is lit. It is celebrated with songs, gathering in remembrance, playing games, and exchanging gifts.

Even if you are not Jewish, flowers can make for a great Hannukah gift to show your Jewish friends that you are thinking of them during this important Holiday. Some people even send a fresh bouquet on all of the eight nights of Hanukkah. The most common flowers to send during for Hanukkah are white lilies, white roses, and blue delphinium, making for an arrangement that mirrors the innocence, purity, and fresh start that comes with the holiday, plus they mirror the serene landscape outside during the cold winter months, as Hanukkah falls in either November or December every year.

Kwanzaa is a week-long holiday celebrated mostly by African Americans and others in the African diaspora and is a cultural holiday, not a religious one, celebrated from December 26th to January 1st. It was created by the Black Power activist Maulana Karenga. Kwanzaa means “first fruits of the harvest” and derives from a Swahili phrase. The holiday has seven core principles and celebrates a Communitarian African Philosophy that Karenga identified as some of the best African thoughts and philosophies of the time.

Kwanzaa is celebrated all over the United States and beyond, and yet it is often not recognized by mass marketing during the holiday season. Whether you celebrate Kwanzaa yourself or you want to give a gift to a friend, there are a few types of flowers that can make a great gift for this holiday. The seven principles are commemorated by a candleholder called a Kinara that has candles in black, red, and green, the colors of the Pan-African flag.. Gifting a flower arrangement that uses these colors will accent the other Kwanzaa decorations and will invoke remembrance of the seven principles at the heart of the holiday. If appropriate for the gathering, you may also want to gift a wreath of fruit and vegetables around the arrangement to signify the first fruits of the harvest. To do even more justice to the meaning of the holiday, consider shopping at a local flower shop or through a black-owned business to emulate one of the seven principles, Ujamaa, which means cooperative economics.

New Year’s Eve often gets forgotten as a gifting holiday after the burnout from days of celebrating other holidays, but more often than not you show up to a New Year’s party wishing you had something in hand. Whether a bottle of wine, a cheese plate, or a flower arrangement, it’s nice to contribute something to the party. Carnations make a great option as they come in a variety of colors, have round, open blooms that brighten up the room, and are relatively affordable. They will add to the feeling of celebration and lightheartedness that accompanies the New Year. A spray of daisies can also mirror the spray of champagne at midnight, making them an airy yet warm addition to the party.

In addition to New Year’s Eve parties, it may also be thoughtful to send a flower arrangement to a friend or family member that had a particularly tough year and wants to leave it behind. A daffodil signifies new beginnings and rebirth, a fitting sentiment for the New Year.

Valentine’s Day is the most common holiday to gift flowers on, but chances you are you want to mix things up from the typical dozen red roses (although they are a classic for a reason!). There are flowers that signify romantic love. Red tulips symbolize undying love, for example, just be sure to pay attention to the color of the flower. Yellow tulips, on the other hand, symbolize hopeless love. Jasmine symbolizes love and sensuality, and gardenia symbolizes secret love. If you want to gift your single friend some flowers this Valentine’s Day and they are someone who hopes to be in a relationship, a daffodil makes a great gift because it symbolizes not only a fresh start but also the return of affection. For the more independently single friends, sweet alyssum are known for creating a serene and spiritually sound atmosphere, protecting the individual from heated encounters. They also emit a soft fragrance that is sure to lift your friend’s mood in the dead of February.

Graduating, especially from graduate school, or starting a new job are exciting transitions that often go by without much fanfare, but it’s important to celebrate the big moments in your friends’ lives even if it’s not a holiday, birthday, or wedding. Besides typical calendar holidays, other occasions call for gifts and you may find that flowers are the perfect touch to give to someone in your life who is celebrating a momentous transition.

Even beyond the celebrations listed, flowers are usually a great option for gifts. In a pinch, order your flowers from a delivery service like 1Stop Florists Flower Delivery to have them delivered right to your friend’s home, party, or office.

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