The kids in the Diocese of Green Bay, Wis., are pretty practical.
In an essay contest sponsored by the diocesan newspaper, The Compass, students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade overwhelmingly said they would have taken blankets to baby Jesus if they had been the Magi.
Food and water were were close seconds, followed by clothes, especially pajamas.
When asked why the Magi brought gold, frankincense and myrrh, the answers varied, but some children believed the gold was used by Mary and Joseph to fund their journey.
These students also understood the religious symbolism in these gifts. One fifth grader said the frankincense symbolized Jesus’ role as a priest and a third-grade student said “myrrh meant Jesus would die for our sins.”
One student thought the gifts were the result of a misunderstanding, because they assumed they would be meeting an adult king, not a newborn. If they knew the king was a baby, one fourth grader pointed out, “they should have brought a pillow, blanket and an outfit.”
Other gifts these students thought the Magi should have considered included: rubies, pearls, sapphires, diamonds, platinum, toys, a Bible, a cross, a compass, and gifts the whole family could use such as a new house and camels.
The contest is the 26th annual kids contest sponsored by the diocesan newspaper.
On a national level, the Missionary Childhood Association sponsors an annual Christmas Artwork Contest.
The winning artwork is reproduced as the official Christmas card of the national office of the Pontifical Mission Societies, and 23 other drawings are selected as winners and featured on the art contest tab here as e-greetings.
The grand-prize winning entry (above) of the Magi was drawn by an 8th-grade student. Its emphasis on the star and not the gifts leaves room to imagine the possibility of a useful item or two in tow.