Italian Nativity Scene, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in San Rafael, Calif.

Did you ever wonder what Mary and Joseph did with those rare and precious gifts the Three Wise Men brought?

When they got back home, did they use them to set up a trust fund for their baby’s future education? Or maybe Joseph traded them in on new tools for his carpentry shop. After all, his son would someday follow him in the family business, right? Who needs to go to school when you can learn a good trade right there at home?

I suppose his parents were pretty disappointed when their boy chose to become an itinerant preacher. Not much chance of making a decent living in that profession.

Anyway, what good are frankincense and myrrh? So impractical. Like getting an engraved silver baby cup from your in-laws. No possibility of an exchange.

Those Three Kings were a little out of touch with everyday life. Why didn’t they give the baby something useful? Like a year’s supply of diapers, or toddler-sized swaddling clothes. Babies grow so fast.

Still, all that really matters is that gifts come from the heart. That’s what makes them rare and precious, like the Three Magi’s gifts so long ago.