Exchanging gifts, specially wrapped in colorful foils and papers, was a feature of Christmas celebrations from as early as the fifth century. A reminder to everyone within the community of faith that, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” the gifts well represented the character of the incarnation itself--the most glorious act of selfless giving that could every possibly be imagined.
Thus, gift giving was originally conceived as an act of covenant renewal and commitment. It was intended as a simple but beautiful expression of a Christo-centric worldview. Joyeux Noel.