Christmas Presentation

The idea of giving Christmas presents originated in the Nativity story, wherein the three wise men brought gifts to the Christ child. A lot of people are ignorant of the art of gift giving. Everybody gets the idea that you should give a present that the receiver wants and either doesn’t have enough of or doesn’t have at all, but there should be more to it than that. A friend once told me that the best presents say something about both the giver and the receiver and about the relationship between them and I’ve born that in mind ever since.

So what did the gifts brought by the three wise men say about them and the Lord?

The first brought frankincense, an aromatic resin used to make incense and perfume. From this we can gather that he felt their relationship stunk and he wanted to improve it, at least cosmetically.

The second brought myrrh, which like frankincense was the dried sap of a tree. Myrrh was used to make incense but was also used in liniments and salves. So again, we can guess that he felt his relationship to Jesus was in need of some healing.

The third wise man brought gold. The gift card of its day. Often a gift card just says that the giver doesn’t care enough to think about the receiver enough to figure out what they might want. In this case though, I think it might say something different and altogether more honest than the frankincense and myrrh. From this gift we can conclude that the third wise man really had no defined relationship with a newborn infant but felt that he had to bring something. It’s an early example of peer pressure and no time to shop.

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