About Christmas Gifts

The memory of the Bethlehem babe bears to mortals gifts greater than those of Magian kings, — hopes that cannot deceive, that waken prophecy, gleams of glory, coronals of meekness, diadems of love.”¹

Mary Baker Eddy, the Founder of Christian Science, wrote these words in an article entitled, “Christmas Gifts”¹.

A coronal is a crown.  A diadem is a jeweled crown worn as a symbol of sovereignty.


The Bible tells us (in Matthew chapter 2) that wise men (also thought to be kings – remember the Christmas carol “we three kings of orient are…”) came from the east and visited the baby Jesus and presented him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Gold obviously is an item of great value, a precious metal used for coins and jewelry and a gift suitable to give to a king.

Frankincense is an aromatic resin found in incense and perfume and historically has been used in religious rites.

Myrrh, also a resin, has been used for dressing wounds and embalming mummies.

Bible Commentaries, such as Jamieson, Fausset & Brown’s Commentary On The Whole Bible, point out that some see a higher meaning to these three Christmas gifts: “…the gold was presented to the infant King in token of His royalty; the frankincense in token of His divinity, and the myrrh, of His sufferings”.  Or stated this way, that “…the prophetical, priestly, and kingly offices of Christ are to be seen in these gifts”.

At the very least, these gifts were items of significant value which would have been a source of provision for the infant Jesus and Mary and Joseph for the days ahead as they went to live in Egypt for a while to keep Jesus safe from Herod.

Mary Baker Eddy’s words that I quoted at the beginning were written over 100 years ago and some may think that that makes them irrelevant.  That is certainly not the case.  She presents an insightful and inspiring view of Christmas gifts that has just as much significance for us today.  Think of this – the memory of the Bethlehem babe” (and isn’t that what Christmas is really about) gives us gifts that are better than that gold, frankincense and myrrh – gifts culminating in jeweled crowns of love.

I invite you to ponder this further and receive these gifts this Christmas season. “The memory of the Bethlehem babe bears to mortals gifts greater than those of Magian kings, — hopes that cannot deceive, that waken prophecy, gleams of glory, coronals of meekness, diadems of love.”¹

¹ The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany by Mary Baker Eddy, page 257.
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