I was just in San Diego, California and we did a Pastor's Appreciation luncheon there for Salem Broadcasting and got to meet a lot of pastors in the San Diego area and we engaged in a question and answer session with the pastors. One of the questions that the pastors were asking was this question about the magi and whether magi were actually astrologers, and if they were astrologers how could God lead His people through astrology.
In response I mentioned that even if the magi did practice astrology the Bible makes it crystal clear that the wise men were led by God both by means of the star which guided them to Christ and by means of the warning that kept them from returning to Herod. Contrary to the practice of astrology then, which involves divination and attempts to predict the future apart from God, the star that the magi followed was not used to foretell the future, but to forthtell the future. In other words, the Star of Bethlehem did not prophesy the birth of Christ - it pronounced the birth of Christ.
In a little booklet that I produced called Christmas Truths And Traditions I deal with many of the other traditions that have formed around the magi. While it is important to separate truth from tales when it comes to traditions which surround these magi, we must never cease to emulate their example of reverence and worship for the King of kings and Lord of lords whose birth we celebrate during Christmas.
As such, when entities like the Watchtower Society suggest that the wise men gave gifts to Christ, not to one another, we should immediately recognize that they have missed the point entirely. As Scripture makes abundantly clear, giving to others, particularly those in need, is tantamount to giving to the Lord Jesus Christ, and taking a special opportunity at Christmas to selflessly give gifts to those we love would likewise excite us, even if we have no expectation of receiving something in return.