Following up to “Why is Christmas celebrated on December 25?“.
The connection between the manger and the Eucharist is obvious. But what about the gold, frankincense and myrrh? According to wisegeek.com
The word myrrh comes from the Hebrew murr or maror, which means “bitter.” Myrrh was a symbolically appropriate gift for the baby Jesus because it was used in embalming at the time. Therefore, while gold and frankincense symbolize the infant’s royalty and divinity, respectively, myrrh makes reference to His future death. Myrrh was extremely valuable in the time of the Roman Empire, when Jesus was born, and it was used as an incense burned during funerals until the 15th century.