Alexander 'Sasha' Chislenko wrote:
> I would think that gift-giving is an extremely old tradition,
> but much of these gifts came as personal services (I fix
> your fence or feed you), or hand-made memorable things.
Christmas as it is currently practiced is almost entirely the result of advertising. The day was picked because it was the Saturnalia of the pagans, so as to help rub out vestiges of the old religion, but it was still treated as a day to party hard and fornicate for hundreds of years. The current gift giving family oriented Christmas was the result of propaganda campaigns in the early 1800's in the early newsprint.