Known as ‘El Dia de Reyes’ (Three Kings Day), January the 6th represents the height of the Christmas season. The date marks the culmination of the twelve days of Christmas and commemorates the three wise men who traveled from afar, bearing gifts for the infant baby Jesus.
We didn’t have a ‘traditional’ Día de Reyes celebration. With it being our first year to celebrate, I didn’t think we would but that didn’t stop me from starting a new tradition for my family. We didn’t leave the kids’ shoes out to be filled with coins. Neither my husband nor I grew up celebrating this holiday. We decided to add it to our holiday celebrations not just because it’s a ‘Latino’ holiday but because we believe that it continues the story of Jesus’ birth beautifully. I thought it would be interesting to let my ‘Spidey and Captain America’ come up with how they wanted to celebrate.
Since we began talking about Christmas, I made sure to mention the Three Kings. I told the story of how they came AFTER Jesus’ birthday to visit him. Since the Three Kings followed the brightest star to find Baby Jesus, my son insisted that we create stars and hang them in our window so they could find us too. Being a homeschool family, I used this as an opportunity to teach shapes and how to trace and cut.
The night before Día de Reyes, my son wrote a letter to the Three Kings and left it out for them. We also left our a pile dry grass on our front porch for the Three Kings’ camels to eat. I’m not known for planning these things ahead of time so we didn’t go out to get real hay. You know what, my son was just as happy using the grass. Before my Spidey went to bed, he asked my husband if camels and dogs got along because he was afraid our dogs would scare off the camels. <3
The next morning the boys woke up before I did. The first thing I heard was “Mom! We got presents!!” They insisted to check if the camels had eaten all their ‘food’. Of course, they had Honestly, it didn’t hurt that we might have bought one too many Christmas presents so we justified it by holding out on a few of them until Jan. 6. shhhh!
So maybe our celebration wasn’t as traditional as in some homes. What’s awesome is that we have our own celebrations and now traditions. In future holidays, we can learn more about each king and the gifts they brought to Jesus.
This is a little of what we did. I’ll share more about what our holiday dinner looked like in the next post. It wasn’t ‘traditional’ either! To learn how others celebrate, read The Tradition Behind Three Kings’ Day.