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Why Do We Exchange Gifts at Christmas?

Christmas is the season of giving after all, but why? Traditionally, families around the world exchange presents on Christmas Day. While this tradition has been going on for centuries, it wasn't always like what we know it as today.

The idea of giving gifts on Christmas is known to have started when the Three Wise Men visited newborn Jesus on Christmas Day and brought him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. In another biblical story, Saint Nicholas, a fourth-century Christian bishop, gave gifts to children and the less fortunate. As Christianity spread, so did the idea of giving gifts during Christmastime.

Here in the USA and many other countries including Japan and the UK, children open their presents on Christmas Day, December 25th. But in other places around the world, gift exchanging happens on other dates. In the US, it is not uncommon for gifts with friends to be exchanged earlier in classes, parties, and other gatherings!