The traditional justification for continuing with the Christmas gifts and gifting tradition lies in the story of Magi bearing gifts for the new born infant Jesus, and the fact that Christ, the lord was a providential gift from to mankind.
The history of Christmas and the tradition of Christmas gifts predate the birth of Jesus Christ. Ancient historic evidence indicates that the early European pagans marked the longest night of the year popularly referred to as the Winter solstice as a feast to herald winter. Livestock were slaughtered and preserved and eaten throughout the winter. Romans feasted for 9 to 10 days in December in honor of the agriculture deity and the Germans celebrated solstice to honor the deity Oden. It was only in the 4th century that the church set the date of nativity as Christmas day and that heralded the era of Christmas celebrations, gifts and joyous festivity.
Over the years, Christmas gifts have become a central part of the holiday celebration. What began as a simple fusion of Roman tradition with Christian celebration has turned into a multi-billion-dollar industry.
The tradition of exchanging Christmas gifts as we do today began during the early Victorian period. The idea was to rejoice with friends and family. Cobweb parties were very fashionable among the European gentry in the olden days. Wool yarns in different colors were strung throughout the house. Each family member could choose a color and follow the cobweb style yarn to a point where they would find their Christmas gift.
By the mid nineteenth century the tradition of presenting family and friends with Christmas gifts no longer remained as a mere custom. It has over the years evolved into a completely commercialized business. Though homemade gifts are still valued there are innumerable innovative and attractive options available in the market.