Many of us have seen, or own, a nativity set that includes these magi, or wise men, at the scene of Jesus' birth. I hate to break it to ya, but they weren't there at the nativity scene. They showed up some time "after Jesus was born." This idea comes from the welding together of two birth narratives, the other in Luke 2, to create a third. Although they were not present (Matthew's Christmas story is in chapter 1), these characters have made their way into our collective memory of the coming of the Christ child. We may call their visit "a second Christmas," for it reveals, for the first time, that Christ came for all people.
These magi, these astrologers from the east, were not Jewish. They did not follow Torah. They were not part of the "chosen" people of God, but they found Christ after following God's light, and paid him homage. They gave him gifts fit for a king. They were the first people Matthew mentions as worshiping Christ!
Even if the nativity scenes with magi present aren't completely accurate, there is a reason we do it. The shepherds and the magi, to us, may represent an initial snapshot of the folks to whom Christ was sent: the lowly, and the Gentile, that is, not only the high religious folks, but the meek, humble, and the seekers as well.
The magi remind me to “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened" (Matthew 7:7-8). They were the first seekers, and they found Christ by the light of God, the star. May it be for us as well.