Question: "Should we give gifts at Christmas?"
Answer: Many people take the idea of gift giving at Christmas back to the scripture in Matthew 2:10-11 which talks about the Magi (wise men) giving gifts to Jesus at his home: "When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house where the child and his mother, Mary, were, and they fell down before him and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh."
The Bible gives a wonderful story about the gift God gave us - Christ - and we can use it as an opportunity to present the gospel and to show love. Giving and receiving gifts can be part of fulfilling what Paul says about giving in 2 Corinthians 8:7-8, "Since you excel in so many ways—you have so much faith, such gifted speakers, such knowledge, such enthusiasm, and such love for us now I want you to excel also in this gracious ministry of giving. I am not saying you must do it, even though the other churches are eager to do it. This is one way to prove your love is real." Paul was talking to the churches who were giving him gifts (financial) so that he could keep on in the ministry. We can apply this same lesson to our own lives by being giving to others, not just at Christmas, but year round!
So, can gift giving become the focus of Christmas instead of thanking the Lord for the gift of His Son (John 3:16)? Absolutely! Does giving gifts have to take away from the true meaning of Christmas? No, it does not. If we focus on the wonderful gift of salvation the Lord has given us (Isaiah 9:6), it is a natural expression of that gratefulness for us to give to others. The key is our focus. Is your focus on the gift, or the ultimate gift-giver - our gracious Heavenly Father? "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights..." (James 1:17).