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Everybody loves Christmas presents.

History Of The Christmas Gift

Christmas is a time when families and friends will traditionally give each other gifts. Many people will be surprised to learn that the tradition of giving gifts at Christmas dates back to 280AD.

This was when St Nicholas, a wealthy priest who would sneak into people’s homes and leave gifts for them. This tradition and story spread through Europe and the USA and have evolved into the story of Christmas that everyone knows and loves.

While the first Christmas gifts were given back in 280AD it was not until the 13th century that gift giving began to take on such importance. At this time we gifts that were given were quite small yet they still had a lot of significance to the people who were giving and receiving them.

This gift giving tradition carried on gaining popularity, particularly in England until 1647 where the puritan rulers of the country banned Christmas. This plunged the country into turmoil and many people who had traditionally celebrated Christmas and given gifts to loved ones were against the ban. Thankfully this ban was lifted by King Charles II in 1660 and gifts were once given again.


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Children opening a present.

When Did Gifts Become Popular?

It was not until the 1860s that the act of giving gifts at Christmas became incredibly popular in America and England. Families would spend time and effort in making or choosing the perfect Christmas gift for the people that they loved. Many of these gifts were placed under the Christmas tree in anticipation of Christmas morning where adults and children alike would gather round to see what they had been given. The stockings were also introduced at this time as a place for children's gifts to be stored.


How Gifts Have Changed

As the history of Christmas has changed and evolved over the years so has the history of giving gifts. Traditionally the gifts that were given at Christmas time would be in the form of fruit, small toys and in some cases money. Today things have drastically changed and people will give and receive all manner of different types of gifts at Christmas. Some families will try and retain some element of tradition and give home-made gifts as part of their celebrations.

As well as giving gifts at Christmas time people will also swap cards and indulge in large meals or feasts. These too are an all important part of the Christmas tradition and something that people who celebrate Christmas will always associate with it. Some families will open their gifts early on Christmas morning whereas others will wait until after they have eaten to unwrap their gifts. Each family has its own particular Christmas Day tradition that they will follow and this helps to make Christmas even more special.