Although nominally aChristian holiday, Christmas is also widely celebrated by many non-Christians, and many of its popular celebratory customs have pre-Christian or secular themes andorigins. Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift-giving, music, an exchange of greeting cards, church celebrations, a special meal, and the display of variousdecorations; including Christmas trees, lights, garlands, mistletoe, nativity scenes, and holly. In addition, several similar mythological figures, known as SaintNicholas, Father Christmas and Santa Claus among other names, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season.
Because gift-giving and many otheraspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity among both Christians and non-Christians, the holiday has become a significant event and a keysales period for retailers and businesses. The economic impact of Christmas is a factor that has grown steadily over the past few centuries in many regions of the world