The Liverpool Nativity at William Brown Street

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Anyone walking up William Brown Street this week will have noticed a large stage being constructed for BBC Three's Liverpool Nativity which is being broadcast live on Sunday.

Sample dish with many small pieces of gum resin

Frankincense never looked like this in my school nativity

It's a long time since I've seen a nativity play but I remember the last guests to arrive at the stable were the three wise men, who had travelled from far away to get there.

BBC Three have taken the 'moving the mountain to Mohammed' approach to choosing a location by building their stage right outside the workplace of at least three wise men and women - namely World Museum Liverpool. I don't know if any of our wise staff will be invited to this nativity but at least they don't have far to go if they do - they might even beat the shepherds.

They wont have to look far for inspiration for gifts either as the three traditional gifts brought by the wise men are all well represented in the collections. There is some frankincense and myrrh in the botany collections and plenty of gold in the antiquities collections, like this Anglo-Saxon gold medalet for example.

Personally I always like to get sweets at Christmas, so I quite like today's page on the National Museums Liverpool online advent calendar, which shows a special Christmas card from the famous local sweet factory Taveners.

Update 14/12/2007: Here's a photo of the nativity stage as it looked yesterday afternoon, on Flickr.