The Forgotten History of Christmas Presents


Ancient Romans are believed to have begun the custom of giving gifts to one another at the holiday Saturnalia, which honored Saturn, the god of (among other things) wealth and plenty. 

The six-day Saturnalia celebration was held over the Winter Solstice, and as Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, early Christians adopted the custom of gift-giving to symbolize the gifts the wise men brought to the baby Jesus.

By the 4th Century A.D., gift-giving began to be associated with Saint Nicholas of Myra and for centuries children received gifts on his feast day of December 6th.  That all changed, however, in 1823, with the publication of the poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

Dan O'Donnell

Dan O'Donnell

Common Sense Central is edited by WISN's Dan O'Donnell. Dan provides unique conservative commentary and analysis of stories that the mainstream media often overlooks. Read more


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