This year, like last year, we celebrated the Three Kings’ Day at home (see 2012 post HERE).
Grandpa Chickadee and I are doing the celebration in order to keep my childhood tradition of the Three Kings bringing gifts to the children alive. Little Miss Chickadee, 5, has long known their names (in Spanish): Melchor, Gaspar, and Baltasar, and almost-three-year old Master Chickadee almost has them down pat.
The three little chickadees spent the night with us (the youngest is 8 months), but guess who was up at 2:15 in the morning on her way to our room?? And this is what she saw:
Our Cuban tradition is to put their shoes/slippers by their beds, but we decided to tweak that a bit, since we didn’t want them to see their gifts without our being there to witness it. Also, since Santa has brought so many gifts, the Three Kings bring just a few little things. The idea is to celebrate the day, and to further reinforce that they brought gifts to Baby Jesus.
So she came in our room without having touched a thing, telling us that they had come, and describing perfectly what they brought for her brothers, but saying that she had seen nothing for her! Why she said that, I don’t know. I asked her several times, and the story was the same, so I chose to believe that maybe her sweet little mind didn’t allow the surprise to be given away. As she snuggled in bed with us she was so calm; not giddy as we would have expected. When she peered out the window she was sure that she could see one of the Three Kings on a camel! We decided that they must have heard her get up and dashed outside before they could leave her gifts, and they were waiting for her to go back to sleep to come back in. Ahhh, sweet innocence.
Our celebration this year was far simpler than last year’s. On the menu: Espresso hot chocolate (recipe to follow soon), punch, and cookies.
As you can see, I was a bit behind in the picture taking (you do remember the little chickadees spent the night, right? And they needed their dress clothes, of course!). I’d say the guava pastries (pastelitos de guayaba) in the red dish—a yummy gift from a dear friend—were pretty popular!
The Three Kings were represented by our various nativity scenes. This one, precious to us, was given to us early in our marriage by my in-laws, who brought it back from one of their frequent trips to Mexico. I love how simple yet intricate it is. To its left, the mother-of-pearl one my grandmother brought back from her visit to the Holy Land in the late 70s or early 80s. Oh, how precious that one is too!
This sweet little nativity scene surrounded a feather tree while all the Christmas decorations were out, but as we pared down to a simpler winter look in preparation for our Three Kings celebration it looked like this:
And last but not least, the chickadees’ own nativity scene. This is the one they are allowed to play with (and you never know who might be added to it). Master Chickadee added this visitor at one point:
And when I asked Baby Love/Miss Chickadee to get the nativity scene ready for the party, this is what she lovingly prepared:
Be sure to notice the ladder…
As you can probably tell, the Three Kings celebration and the nativity scenes are very hands-on experiences for the chickadees—just as we want it to be. In fact, at one point during our gathering Miss Chickadee took Baby Jesus out of the nativity scene and told the adults around her that “Christmas is about Baby Jesus.” That, is exactly the goal.
Do you celebrate the Epiphany? Have you by any chance read Yvonne’s moving re-telling of the Three Kings’ visit to the manger in her beautiful blog, StoneGable? She tells it so beautifully that you might want to read it HERE.
These are the parties I’ll be joining to share my Three Kings Celebration. They’re wonderful gatherings too; I hope you’ll visit.
Tuesdays at http://www.astrollthrulife.net/
Wednesdays at Let’s Dish: http://www.cuisinekathleen.com/
Wednesdays at Wow Us: http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/
Thursdays at Tabletop Thursday: http://betweennapsontheporch.net/
Thursdays at Home Sweet Home: http://thecharmofhome.blogspot.com/
Fridays at Feathered Nest: http://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.com/
Sundays at The Tablescaper: http://thetablescaper.blogspot.com/
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From my nest to yours, ~Zuni