While scripture doesn't reveal how many Wise Men actually followed the star to Bethlehem, the Bible does record the number and type of gifts brought to offer the newborn child. The Wise Men brought three gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. During that period of history, these gifts were highly valued and only offered to the highest of ranks. Props created need to showcase the importance of the gifts offered.
A gold prop depends on the emphasis of the play or skit in which you plan to use it. Use a gold ring as a prop and offer it on a plush pillow covered with black velvet. Or create a gold bar by wrapping a rectangular box in gold wrapping paper.
Frankincense is used not only as an offering to gods but as a healing agent. The resin scraped from the tree may take a tear shape. As Jesus was born to become the sacrifice for sin, create a teardrop-shape prop from modeling clay. You also may use an incense burner to show frankincense as an incense. Use vegetable oil in an ornament jar tied with ribbon for frankincense presented as an oil. Use lotion in a low, wide-mouth ceramic container to simulate frankincense as a healing salve.
Myrrh also has medicinal uses. Myrrh was used to anoint or embalm the dead, with implications of suffering and death. Fill a vase with potpourri as a prop or in a beautifully shaped perfume bottle in deep, jewel-tone colors of red, purple or blue.
If the gifts are used as part of a Christmas recitation rather than as part of a skit or play, you may wish to show the gifts as an illustration. To make the prop, enlarge a picture of the Wise Men presenting their gifts. Glue it onto heavyweight paper or posters for the children to hold up while repeating the lines of their recitation. Make cutouts of the three gifts together or separately for each child to hold up.
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