For many people the main focus of Christmas is the gifts. Children are excited by the prospect of receiving presents and the adults spend a long time shopping for the right thing and hunting for bargains all through the year.
Parents are also happy when they receive their Christmas Gifts, like moms for an example.
Gift giving does seem to stem from the belief that gifts were presented to Christ just after he was born. Some Churches still celebrate the day that the magi arrived with gift giving rather than exchanging gifts on December 25th which is the usual custom.
Romans tended to trade gifts during Saturnalia and French nuns distributed gifts to the poor on St Nicholas Eve in the 13th century. But it was not until the 18th century that gift giving started to become more common.
Gifts were supposed to be a representation of Gods gift of Christ to mankind or the gifts that were given to the baby. However, in the 18th century stores started advertising Christmas gifts in newspapers. Within 20 years Santa Claus appeared everywhere and in 1867 Macy’s stayed open until midnight on Christmas Eve so that everyone had time to do all of their gift buying.
These days stores start to bring out their Christmas things in September and decorate in October. They really want to cash in with what has become a massive commercial operation. Many stores rely on Christmas to bring in more sales than any other time of the year which is why they start to get everything in the shops so early. It means that almost a quarter of the year has them focusing on getting consumers to buy Christmas gifts.
Some people like this as it means that they can buy early and spread the expense but others find it very annoying. It can mean that you end up spending more money as you buy something early to later find something much better that you buy as well.
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