Yesterday was the feast of the Epiphany, the day the three kings presented their gifts to Jesus. They set out to find Jesus to give honor and praise to Him who had come to fulfill the prophecies. The gifts they brought were only one of the ways in which the kings meant to honor Jesus.
The tradition of giving gifts at Christmas time comes from the example of the three kings. If the Wise Men had not brought gifts to Jesus, the tradition of gift giving at Christmas time may never have started. If the Kings had not brought Jesus gifts that first Christmas, we might celebrate Christmas in a more spiritual, less materialistic manner. The next time you are waiting in a long line to buy a Christmas present or stressing out over how to pay for everything, blame it on the Magi.
Or perhaps change the way you celebrate the coming of Christ.
Celebrate next Christmas quietly as the three kings did. Put the worship of Jesus at the center of the celebration. Focus on the mystery of Jesus taking on a human form. Honor Jesus and return the giving of gifts to its original place as but one way to celebrate the coming of Christ.