If you’re in my MOPS group or my Facebook friend, you may have already heard or seen this. For anyone else who’s interested, I’ll share here as well. We’ve thought about how we’ll do Christmas gifts in our family to make them meaningful (in many ways). I heard about the basic concept a few years ago, but really sat down to research it this year.
Basic premise– gifts following the gifts of the wise men to Christ. Plus, a neat idea about swaddling clothes as a gift from Jesus’ parents.
Gold gift– valuable, enduring worth. May or may not be the most expensive gift, but carries a lot of importance to the receiver.
Frankincense gift– anything that will help them with their spiritual health and growth- a book, a CD, a T-shirt, a video, anything that focuses them on God.
Myrrh gift– (varied ideas) some say health and beauty products- lotion, soap, perfume, cologne, toothpaste, even combs, brushes, hair ties. All the way to “all the wonders of life on earth.” Some just do their clothing in this category.
We had to work through defining what our “myrrh” will be. We needed to find a balance between lotion/soap/cologne and ‘all the pleasures of life on earth’, especially since I like the “swaddling clothes” as a separate category.
I’ve researched a little- myrrh was used to treat suffering/ afflictions whether in healing, numbing, or embalming, as well as in preventative maintenance health care (eg. antiseptic, mouthwash, body wash, toothpaste forms).
We are focusing on the healing aspect and choosing a gift that would help with something the receiver has been really struggling with, or we feel could really become a problem area for them. So, a tool to help with an academic stumbling point, something directed to lift the spirits, something that would encourage them in their friendships/relationships, something that will inspire them- I guess this is still vague, but would be based on the specific needs and struggles of the receiver, and I’m thinking, would add another element of meaning to that gift- not just something they want, but something you feel will hold an impact in a possible problem area.
There are a few sources I found for this model of gift giving, but not much out there. Here’s what I’ve found. Let me know if you ever run across something else different about it!
Here is gold, frankincense, myrrh, and swaddling clothes
“Gold, we give a gift of enduring worth
Frankincense, a prayer reaching God above
Myrrh, all the wonders of life on earth
Swaddling clothes, surrounded in your parents love”
~(a poem about how they remember the gifts and meanings)
The other article I found- gold, frankincense, and myrrh (no swaddling clothes)
The spiritual aspects: A look at the gifts and how we can also give them to Christ…
ETA: It’s that time of year again, and I’ve added a post here with some more on the topic.
And one more source to look at- maybe one of the originals I saw, but couldn’t find again when I wrote this? It’s over at Counting My Blessings.