Tag Archives: Christian

Ending the Holidays with Día de los Reyes

One of my least favorite activities of the year is taking down my Christmas decorations. I love the holidays, so putting everything back in the tupperware bins feels like such a downer compared to all the joy, family, and food that comes with Christmas. So last year when I heard about Día de los Reyes (also known as Three Kings Day or Epiphany) and the opportunity to extend my holidays a little longer, I knew I wanted to add the celebration to our family traditions.

Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar are from Aunt Ethel's nativity set. They are one of my favorite parts of Christmas.

Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar are from my Aunt Ethel’s nativity set. They are some of my favorite Christmas decorations.

Held on January 6th, Día de los Reyes is officially the 12th day of Christmas. It celebrates the coming of the three wise men to worship the Christ child and give him the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Three Kings Day is widely celebrated around the world, particularly in Latin American countries. In Argentina, children put grass and water outside the door for the wise men’s camels. In Mexico, the three wise men are added to the nativity scenes on the eve of Día de los Reyes. And in Peru, they actually make taking down the Christmas decorations on Día de los Reyes a celebration in itself and call it Bajada de Reyes (Descent of Kings).

To celebrate Día de los Reyes at our house, we will be doing our own Bajada de Reyes tonight. In addition to taking down the Christmas decorations, we’ll also enjoy a modified Three Kings Cake, sing We Three Kings, and exchange small gifts between us. But most of all, I hope to remember that the season doesn’t really have to end just because the decorations come down.  While maybe we can’t eat like we did during the holidays, the joy of Christmas, family, and friendships are things I don’t have to pack up with the ornaments.

Three Kings Cake

Tradition calls for a porcelain baby Jesus to be put in the Kings Cake but we are improvising and I’ve put a paper one in the bottom of one of the cupcakes. Whoever gets the baby Jesus is supposed to make tamales on Candlemas (Feb. 2nd).

Three Kings Cupcakes

Unfortunately the real Three Kings Cake takes hours to make so we modified our version. These cranberry cupcakes will serve as our individual Kings Cake for tonight.

Click here for more country-specific Three Kings Day traditions and check out these other Epiphany blog posts:

 

 

Advertisements

Friday Global Giving: Operation Christmas Child

I do love this time of year in the US – everyone is excited for vacation time, being with family, and finding the perfect gifts for the dearest people in their lives. I am already gearing up for holiday shopping and will admit that I even started wrapping some gifts this week.

A few years ago Hubby and I decided to add an extra person to our Christmas shopping by participating in a program called Operation Christmas Child. The program is through Samaritan’s Purse, an organization that aids the world’s poor, sick, and hungry. Each November the organization works with local churches to collect shoe boxes full of toys and delivers them to children around the world.

For us, we love going to the toy store together and picking out what we’re going to put in our box each year. This year we’ve decided to do a 10-14 year-old girl so included crafts, notepads, socks, stickers, jewelry, and toiletries. While it’s not much, we do hope that it brightens some little girls day somewhere in the world.

If you are interested in participating in Operation Christmas Child, it is not too late! The boxes are being collected through November 19th and directions for packing and drop-off can be found here.  This is a great project to do with kids or as a group outing with friends or significant other. Who doesn’t like a date at the dollar store? For just a little bit of money and time, you could make a huge impact on a child in Haiti, Mongolia, Madagascar, or beyond.