Here’s the scenario. It’s less than a week before Christmas and you realize the notebook on your dresser is actually the Christmas to-do list you stapled together. Unfortunately most of it is still not-done. Relax, help is here.
You’ve heard The Twelve Days of Christmas but most of you don’t know those Twelve Days begin on December 25. This is important because they end on January 6—- Three King’s Day, or Epiphany. (Those of you in Miami can now resume wrapping your Christmas presents since you probably already know what I’m about to say.)
January 6 is when many children in Latin America and some parts of Europe traditionally received gifts. This was the day when they celebrated the Wise Men—or Magi— arriving and giving gifts to the Christ Child. Children would leave hay for the camels and good little children would find presents.
Since Epiphany, or Three King’s Day, is not widely celbrated in the West— or outside the Latin community— it is not as much a religious holiday as a ethnic holiday. In fact I first learned of it while helping my sister research a paper about Mexican holidays. Our roving reporter Mike discovered it in French class.
So that’s what it is and here’s FIVE WAYS it can help you.
FIRST, It Relieves Some of the Christmas Pressure
If you’re going to have a ball on January 6, then why have all the fun on December 25. This means you don’t have to do as much. This means you may have time to sleep. Go ahead and have a great Christmas, but plan on doing some of it two weeks later.
SECOND, It Saves You Money
You’ve been at the store, buying something and you’ve thought, In one week this will be 75% off. So, wait a week. Since Three King’s Day is after Christmas you can take advantage of the after-Christmas bargains.
NOTE: It works the other way, too. I’ve heard that merchants in Miami get relief from the post-Christmas slump on January 6.
THIRD, It Relieves the Post Holiday Blahs
Let’s face it, the week after Christmas is a pain in the neck. Christmas is over and then it’s winter. By throwing a party two weeks later it will save your sanity then, too.
FOURTH, It’s a Way to Teach Children — and Yourself — About Other Cultures
Three King’s Day isn’t traditionally American. (Yes, that’s not a hundred percent accurate, but you know what I mean) Many, perhaps most, of us had never heard of it until studying in school. My parents and their parents never celebrated it. This is a great way to expand your children’s knowledge of the world around them.
FIFTH, It’s Alot of Fun
I’ve celebrated Three King’s Day for nearly a decade now and I’ve enjoyed it every year. Two or three years ago the power was out on Christmas and Three King’s Day was our holiday celebration. My family has enjoyed receiving presents after the holiday season has ended. There are alot of traditions that go with January 6 that allow you to do as much or as little as you like.
In closing, let me encourage you to relax and breathe during this coming week. Buy the presents, get the tree, and go to parties. But leave some of it for January 6. Your friends will thank you and you will thank you.
Here are a few links to web sites about Three King’s Day. They can give you resources, ideas, and prove that I know what I’m talking about.