The idea of presenting people you love with gifts is as old as the human race. The idea of exchanging gifts at Christmas time originated with the birth of Jesus, when three wise men traveled to deliver gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the newborn baby. Shepherds in the fields also came to give gifts to the newborn baby Jesus.
Everything changed when Clement Clarke Moore wrote the story/poem T’was the night before Christmas in 1822. This story quickly became the most popular poem throughout the world, and children learned in it that Santa Claus brought gifts on Christmas Eve, and they started expecting Santa to bring them gifts as well. Children especially would look for gifts in their stockings hung up to dry by the fireplace.
Today, the tradition of giving and receiving gifts is as much a part of Christmas as the Christmas tree, candy canes, and Christmas songs.