“Now when Jesus was born ... there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem ...”
Matthew doesn’t say how many wise men came from the east, but it has generally been assumed there were three because he goes on to mention three gifts: “ ... they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh”.
I’ve been explaining the Nativity to my son – I had to write the script for our playcentre’s Christmas show recently, so I felt I was on top of all the details. He listened intently, but I could tell by the end that these ‘gifts’ weren’t cutting it for him.
Gold’s good. But the other two?
Frankincense and myrrh are both resins ... dried tree sap to be exact ... that come from trees of the genus Boswellia and Commiphora respectively, which are commonly found in northern Africa and the Middle East. Frankincense and myrrh have always been used to create incense. The sap itself is collected in a similar way that people collect rubber-tree sap or pine-tree sap. Cutting the tree’s bark causes the sap to flow out of the cut. It is allowed to dry on the tree, and then it is collected.
Anyhow, I was wondering what three wise men would choose if they could do it now. If they could nip down to the local shopping centre and peruse the bargains, what would they select? – things with a tech flavour, of course.
Well, I could suggest a year’s subscription to Reseller News … but I’m thinking more cool, gadgetry stuff. Sorry Ed. (News about cool gadgetry is also very important, says Ed)
I considered quite a range of things. How about an Amazon Kindle eBook reader or a Transformers action figure? A Blackberry or an iPod Touch? Maybe an external hard drive, as you can never have too much storage. Or perhaps an iTunes pre-paid music card would be appropriate? Clearly, a 60-inch plasma wouldn’t be … they might be wise these guys but it would take a genius to get it on the back of a camel!
Some good stuff, I think you’ll agree. But I was looking for something that little bit special. After much consideration, here are my three modern-day gifts:
One has to be a Nintendo Wii. Introducing a physically interactive experience to gaming is a great idea and one that the whole family would enjoy.
For the second I’d suggest a hands-free cellphone car kit. Not only is using a cellphone while driving illegal, but it’s also dangerous – especially with a baby on board.
And the last of my three would have to be a Flip Mino. These pocket-sized camcorders are great and perfect for recording special memories at Christmas … or any time of year for that matter.
I think the little guy would have appreciated these.