The Three Wise Men, My culture's Christmas
I was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, a small island in the Caribbean full of culture and life. As a child, Christmas was a very magical time for me. Growing up with a single mom, she made everything magical for us, so this time a year, brings me warm, fuzzy feelings in me. Now that I have grown, and am a parent myself, I still continue the tradition of our culture with my children.
I left the Island years ago, but I still carry it in my heart dearly. As an adult, I have learned that the saying "There is no place like home" is very true. Specially in the Holidays. As a mother myself, I make sure that the holidays are full of magic for my children.
The 3 Wise Men
So here in the states, we celebrate Christmas, and Santa Clause comes and drops off presents for all the little girls and boys. We usually leave him cookies, milk and a letter. And he leaves all the gifts nicely wrapped under the Christmas Tree.
In Puerto Rico, some of us also celebrate Santa Claus, but it is the 3 Wise Men day that we celebrate the most. The 3 Wise men, appear in the gospel of Matthew and are a Christian Tradition. They were a group of men who visited Jesus after his birth with presents of Gold, Myrrh and frankincense.
The night of January 5th the 3 wise men are said to come. Children leave them grass in a box under their beds, and water, this is so their camels can eat, and drink. After they are done, the 3 wise men, leave the children presents, unwrapped, under or next to their beds. Picking the grass Is a magical and exciting thing, because you feel that they are getting near, and you must get to bed at a decent time, in order for them to stop and rest in your house.
My children, and half Puerto Rican, and Half German. They love the 3 wise men day, and they love telling other kids about it. This is a big part of why School in Puerto Rico also starts at a later date. Stores also celebrate the holiday, so on January 6th, everything is closed. I hope to one day take them back to the Island so they can celebrate this tradition there.