Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bearing Gifts

We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy Perfect Light
Reverend John Henry Hopkins, Jr., 1857

Forgive me as I sing Christmas carols (off-key). I spotted these regal kings on sale in the mall today and knew that I would treasure them in future Christmases. Truth be told, it was the noble camel that clinched the deal.

Mom added the St. Nicholas ornaments to my collection. St. Nick holding the cardinal is particularly sweet.

I've had the good fortune to see this painting by Gentile da Fabriano (1425) of St. Nicholas hanging from a window grate as he secretly deposits sacks of gold for three daughters of a poor man so that they had dowries. While he hangs outside the window, the daughters and their father prepare for bed. I was captivated by the originality of the scene. Another version of the story has St. Nicholas dropping the gold down the chimney and it lands in a maiden's sock that was hung to dry. Ho ho ho.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons.

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