It's okay to admit: we all love getting presents. And these magi characters guys give some pretty good ones—gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Trust us, these are more than just stocking-stuffers.
Why these gifts? Why not a nice gift card to Sandals 'R' Us? The answer: because gold, frankincense, and myrrh are gifts fit for a king.
Overall, it's a pretty sweet haul.
There's a lot of debate as to what the gifts mean. One theory, proposed by 2nd-century Christian writer, Origen, is that gold is for a king, frankincense honors a god, and myrrh represents death. All three are aspects of Jesus's story, so those could definitely fit.
Don't forget the irony of the wise men's gifts. Here we have three foreign, non-Jewish guys, who have traveled from afar on the hunch that something good is about to happen. They bring gifts and bow down to honor "the King of the Jews," while the actual Jews in the story (Herod and the power-hungry creeps in Jerusalem) are desperately trying to kill their messiah. Not exactly what God intended to happen.
Or is it?
The magi's awesome gift-giving abilities have inspired loads of writers and artists: