Gift giving has become a central focus of Christmas tradition, but it has not always been that way. The first record of gift giving, and hense the beginning of a new tradition, was when the Wise Men (Magi) brought gifts to Jesus as recorded in the book of Matthew in the Bible. "On coming to the house they saw the child with his mother Mary, and the bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankensense and myrrh."
As mentioned yesterday, no one was really in the habit of exchanging elaborate gifts until the late 1800s. The Santa Claus story which we will discuss later, along with the amazing retailing phenomenon that has grown since the turn of the 20th century, is what has made gift giving of such importance and focus of Christmas tradition. Christmas cards are usually included with gifts, especially those mailed to friends and loved ones far away. Sometimes, Christmas cards are used to transport cash, checks or gift cards as gifts.