On Christmas Eve, our little granddaughters blew out candles lit on their dessert after dinner, singing “Happy Birthday, baby Jesus.” Then the 3-year-old and I walked to our crèche hand-in-hand, telling her that tonight was when we celebrated when Jesus came to us as a baby. She asked, “Like me?” Taking the statue out of the pretty wrapped box where we had placed our Advent offerings, written on little pieces of paper to prepare for Christmas, she carefully placed Him in the manger. I knelt by her side to take in the wonder of His birth with her. She said in her most serious 3-year-old voice, “Aww, poor baby Jesus, it’s sad, there wasn’t any room for Him.” Then she took my finger to point to the gifts in the hands of the Wise Men making their way to Bethlehem; she wanted to know if that was food. I told her that those were the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to give Him because He was the newborn king. She had her own epiphany when she responded with an astonished intake of breath: “A King!”

Trying to explain what the gifts were to her, gold was easy, pointing to my wedding ring. Frankincense and myrrh were a bit harder, though. Her wonder at all of this and her questions caused me to reflect on those gifts, myself.