Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Holidays Are Not Over


By Betty Galvan
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! How was it? By the way, is that what you are hearing lately? I have and I want to say, “Wait! It isn’t over!!”
When I was growing up, January 6th was the official ending to our holiday season. I knew it was Dia de los Reyes, but my parents dropped the traditional festivities when they arrived to Chicago from Mexico. Many years ago, I asked my mom why we didn’t celebrate Three Kings Day and she said that it was a holiday not observed in the U.S. Oh no! Yet, she had wonderful stories about leaving her shoes out twelve days after Christmas for The Three Kings to fill with delicious fruit and candy. So instead we waited for Santa, partied on New Year’s Eve and packed away all our Christmas decorations and nacimiento from under the tree on the seventh of January. As I wrapped up the porcelain Baby Jesus with great care, I used extra bubble wrap for each of The Three Kings, too. I wondered in my head about myrrh, but never asked.
Since the birth of my three sons, I have made sure we celebrate Dia de los Reyes and that no question goes unanswered. I understand my parents reluctance to celebrate something their neighbors did not. Today, I want to teach my kids an important piece of how our culture celebrates the Christmas traditions; from las posadas to pan de rosca, every detail will be explained.
When we start decorating our Christmas tree, I have the boys unwrap the delicate figures of our nativity scene (combining American and Mexican traditions!) and my husband tells them the story of The Three Kings following the North Star to find the Newborn King. In the future, I will purchase the books recommended here by Mommy Maestra and read them to the boys throughout the Christmas season. The Three Kings are important and the tradition of leaving out our shoes for a last surprise is a perfect way to honor them. It is also a perfect way to honor our Mexican traditions.
Will you observe Dia de los Reyes on Sunday? Any unique or original ideas you have added to the tradition? Let us know!
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Betty Galvan, is helping her readers "find the positive and seek the benefits" over at her blog, MyFriendBettySays.com.
She is the mother of three beautiful little boys and a teacher.

3 comments:

  1. Oh yes, we still celebrate El Dia de Los Reyes Magos, not to the same extent as they do in Argentina or Mexico, but will keep up with our traditions in our own ways ;)My family (from Argentina) leave a bowl of water and a bowl of grass (for the camels) and a pair of shoes (for los reyes to leave a little surprise gift)by the front door. At my husband's family's house we do it a little different, we leave one shoe underneath the Christmas Tree for los reyes to leave a little surprise gift. It's a lot of fun to see what los reyes leave at each of the houses!!!

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  2. Great post Betty! I too am on the same boat as you when it comes to reviving these meaningful traditions. Although the nativity was always a staple in our home at Christmas while growing up, I feel that the traditions and stories behind it seemed to have faded. Being one of youngest in my family and having been born in the states, by the time I grew up the traditions of el Dia de Los Reyes had long faded and I too instead waited for Santa. I decided that it was up to me to revive these traditions for my children. I started last year by filling stockings with goodies and leaving them by the door for my children to find. I told them the story of the 3 Wise King and the meaning behind the gifts brought. A few years ago I also started to the Rosca de Reyes tradition. I love to see the anticipation in my children's faces as they bite into their bread and wait to see who ends up with the tiny plastic baby in their piece of bread. These traditions are important to me because they are a part of who we are and where we came from. It is up to us to pass on these traditions to our children.

    Carolina

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  3. I never got a chance to celebrate it.

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