Hey Melchior, I've been thinking about when we meet this new king. Shouldn't
we take a gift or something?

Good idea. But I never know what to get as a gift for babies. Should it be a 
little tiny outfit? Were you going to knit some little booties? Or maybe get 
a cuddly toy?

I'm sure all children would love a cuddly camel, but I was thinking more about 
them being a king. What do you buy for royalty? In theory, they've already got 
everything they'll ever need.

Maybe we don't buy something.

What? Make something?

No. My crafting skills are worse than your knitting.
I was thinking of getting a gift that was symbolic.

Oh. So, more "it's the thought that counts" rather than the size or the price?

Yes. And, no. Well, sort of.

We're not going to walk into a palace and be all like "your majesty, 
congratulations on the birth of your child and heir. Please accept this gift." 
And then dazzle them with the value of what we give them.

Firstly, we can't afford something like that. And, secondly, we don't really 
want to steal focus. We're supposed to be going to see this great new king, 
not trying to make it all about our amazing gift.

Do you think people would do that?


Make it all about the gift and, in turn, the person giving it rather than the 
reason for giving it in the first place?

I hope not. But, you know, people always twist things to make it about themselves.

Yeah, anyway, why are we taking presents? A new-born baby won't know. Is this 
really for the parents?

Possibly. I hadn't really thought about that. I guess they might keep it until 
the child is older. But, yes, it's more symbolic really.

So, it's for show? So other people can see we've given a gift?

I hope not.

Look, when we interpreted that conjunction of stars and planets to mean that a 
great king was born to the Jewish people, and he is a gift to the whole world.

It kinda feels like we should take him a gift too.
You don't want to not take one, get there, find out everyone else has brought 
gifts, and then be rushing around to find something.

Well, at least it shows some thought. Wait, does that mean you didn't 
appreciate the flowers I got you for your birthday?

I think we're getting off-topic here.

Oh, but what if no one else brings a present? Will we look like we're sucking 
up or something?

Of course they'll bring presents. I think there must be loads of people who will 
have seen what we saw, realized what it meant, and then traveled to see the baby.

You really think that?

You don't think our interest in the stars is a bit...niche?

Is it because you know so many other people who are fascinated by astronomy, 
babies, and foreign countries?


Look, even if there aren't lots of other people coming from far away, there must 
be lots of people locally who will be there. It's not like a great and mighty 
king is born, and the people don't know and celebrate it.

It's not like they'll sneak in a baby, unannounced, round the back when no one 
is looking.

This will be something celebrated, maybe for generations to come.

I really don't expect it to start out as something small.

Ok. But we still don't know what to take. It needs to be symbolic; not too 
showy-off-ish; but not too deep; it should probably be useful; and it won't 
hurt if it's memorable.

Why memorable?

Ok, imagine if two strangers from another land showed up here with gifts. They 
process in, say something in a foreign language, present their gift, and then 
leave. What are the chances you remember the gift more than their names? If you 
even hear their names at all!

Ok. So, memorable. But, I guess it's not about them remembering we came. The 
purpose of this trip is for us to see the new king.

And if we get anything else out of it, that's a bonus.

[looks blank]


Soooo, a present for a baby who we don't know, in a place and culture 
we don't know.

I guess we need to stick with the classics.

I thought you were against a cuddly toy.

Or do you mean a rattle?

No, let's focus less on the baby part. What are the classic three gifts?

I dunno, chocolate?

No. Jewellery, perfume, and smellies.

Fairly safe, lots of options, and everyone appreciates them.

They've been given as gifts for years, and I'm sure they always will be.


You don't sound convinced.

Look, what were the last three gifts you bought your wife?

A necklace, some perfume--camel number 5--nice stuff, not cheap, and some 
bath salts.

See. The classic 3.


A necklace is jewellery. Like earrings, bangles, rings, or a broach. There 
are lots of options for her. Or a chain or a watch for him.

And who doesn't want to smell nice? See, perfumes are always appreciated. By 
those around them too.

And everyone likes a nice-smelling room.

Whether it's creams or lotions in the bathroom or some potpourri for another 
room. You can't go wrong.

You've thought about this a lot.

Of course. Gift giving is important.

You don't want to give something people have never heard of and don't know what 
it is or what it's for. Imagine giving a gift that no one knows what it is or 
has never heard of it before.

I guess. But at least it might be memorable.

So, what do we get?

Why not all three?

Let's be extravagant. If we're going to spend all this time and effort going 
there, why not get all three?

But there's only 2 of us.

So? It's not like people are going to think there were three gifts, so there 
must have been 3 of us. Will they?