Dec. 4, 2011
On coming to the house, the Magi saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
The concept of gift-giving at Christmas is biblically rooted. When the Magi arrived inBethlehemafter their very long journey, they were prepared to give King Jesus gifts. And so, they presented him with three gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. We don’t really know how many wise men visited Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Traditionally, we show three wise men in a nativity scene because of the three gifts given to the baby.
The gifts each represented something for the baby:
- Gold was used by kings to recognize their royalty. In giving gold, the magi acknowledge that Jesus is the King of Kings.
- An aromic resin from the Boswwellia tree, Frankincense was used in rituals in the synagogue by the rabbis, the priests. In giving this gift to Jesus, he is recognized as the Highest Priest.
- Myrrh was used to annoit a body after a person died. It was also given to Jesus as he hung on the cross. This gift recognizes Jesus’ future sacrifice for all humanity.
Like the magi, we continue the tradition of giving gifts at Christmas. Quite often, there maybe someone on your Christmas list that is hard to buy for. Someone who doesn’t really need anything but you’d like to remember them in someway. May I give a suggestion?
Give them a “Happy Birthday Jesus” gift certificate. I’m including a sample certificate with the blog. It allows the person to choose (or you can choose for them) a non-profit or special organization or family that you will give a gift in honor of them.
A few years ago, Rick’s sister, Linda, gave us such a certificate a Christmas. She had made a donation to the Dane County Food Pantry in honor of us. We thought this was a wonderful gift and appreciated her creativity.
I mentioned in another post that Rick and I choose various families, groups and organizations to support rather than giving each other presents. A couple people have mentioned how your family has thought creativly about gifts. I thank you for these comments and thoughts. I pray that these ways will allow us to all be a bit more creative this Christmas. Gifts are good. Personally, I’m encouraged to give gifts to folks who need them much more than I do.
Yes, there are people to give actual presents to. On Friday, Rick and I did most of our Christmas shopping, basically for the grandkis, plus the local giving tree. For those who you struggle in knowing what to give them or maybe someone who might really enjoy a “Happy Birthday, Jesus!” certificate, consider how you might honor them this Christmas.
I’ve put together a sample certificate that you can use. Click on this link for a certificate that you can print. Please change as you would like.