Certainly, Christmas is a time for giving and sharing with those around us, but that sharing isn't limited to those we love and care for. Ultimately, Christmas is as much about giving as it is about receiving. It's ingrained in our culture as a time when we give to those less fortunate than us. One of the most popular Christmas stories of all time, “A Christmas Carol” is a message about the benefits of being charitable and the dangers of thinking only about yourself.
Christmas is a celebration of love, joy and peace. These are the best gifts we can give. But they're often the hardest, especially if we haven't received them from other people. Christmas is a time for giving.
This often extends beyond friends and family and donations. Many charities run specific Christmas campaigns and there is evidence that more people donate at Christmas, compared to the rest of the year. Economist Joel Waldfogel noted that, due to the mismatch between what the gifted value the gift and the value paid by the giver, gifts lose between a tenth and a third of their value; he calls it the loss of Christmas dead weight. I struggle with the perfect words to say to someone who insists on buying gifts at Christmas that I really don't want anything.
Of course, charitable Christmas gift cards aren't the only way to give back during the holiday period. The popularity of this custom grew after the positive reception of the 1823 poem The Night Before Christmas and the novel A Christmas Carol from 1843.