Nowadays, one of the most beloved parts of Christmas is the gift exchange that takes place every year. Not only because of the joy of receiving gifts, but also because of the joy of giving them. Christmas is the only time of year for many people when you can show each person in your life how much they mean to you. Gift-giving is just another way to spread Christmas love and joy.
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. The ancient pagan custom of gift-giving was rationalized in Christianity by strongly associating it with the gifts of the Magi to Jesus, and was probably also influenced by the life of Nicholas of Myra, a 4th-century saint famous for his fondness for giving gifts to people. Imports, such as Christmas trees and Santa Claus, helped make Christmas gifts a traditional part of the holiday. 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.
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. 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. 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. Like so many other Christmas traditions, carols have their roots in the pagan rituals appropriated by the nascent Christian Church when, in the 4th century, it officially called Christmas the celebration of the birth of Christ Jesus.
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. In addition, Puritanism was popular in the early United States and Puritans didn't like the materialism of gift giving and Christmas in general. New American companies saw this as an opportunity to sell more products and began announcing the idea of Christmas gift giving as the norm.