Gift-giving is rooted in the pagan rituals celebrated during the winter. When Christianity incorporated these rituals into Christmas, the justification for carrying gifts was redirected to the Three Wise Men, the Three Wise Men, who gave gifts to the baby Jesus. Gift-giving began long before Christmas was set as a day to remember the birth of Christ. Although Christmas became a tradition in the 4th century, gift giving during the holidays is of Roman origin.
It was part of a celebration offered to the Roman god Saturn, considered the god of agriculture who provided vegetation and fertility throughout the year. In part, the result of Protestant resistance to so many holidays in the 16th century can also be attributed to the popularity of Clement Clarke Moore's 1823 poem The Night Before Christmas and Charles Dickens' 1843 novel A Christmas Carol. If newspaper advertisements from the early 19th century that promoted Bibles as Christmas gifts for children are any indication, parents of this time seem to have maintained a similar approach to providing spiritual value to their children. One of the most well-known and religiously preserved traditions of the Christmas season is the giving of gifts.
Before the Internet came to light, going to the center of a city with the mission of buying Christmas gifts was an annual event, and people would have to get all their gifts on these trips or face new expeditions at a later date. Understanding why giving gifts to children (and, by gradual extension, to adults) became part of this new Christmas tradition requires expanding the story of Nissenbaum. The focus on giving to children may have been promoted later by initiatives to reduce urban street fuss at Christmas, and by parents interested in keeping children away from the corrupting influences of those streets. For Christians, the gifts given at Christmas are a symbol of the homages that the Three Wise Men paid to the baby Jesus after his birth during the history of the Nativity.
Dickens' subsequent Christmas story coincided with a revival of the Christmas holiday in the midst of Victorian culture. The battle for Christmas focuses on tensions between New York's elites and their working classes, but during this same period, a middle class began to emerge in New York and other northern cities, and the reinvention of Christmas also served its purposes. His themes of festive generosity and family reunions accompany a story in which the stingy Ebenezer Scrooge transforms into a kinder man and wakes up on Christmas Day with the urge to make a donation and give gifts. Although the current Christmas festival is an annual tradition that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, the custom of exchanging gifts is the product of Victorian inventiveness, the joy of ancient Rome and medieval interpretations of early Christian narratives.
These figures demonstrate how important the tradition of buying gifts at Christmas has become and how crucial it is for the retail sector of the UK economy.