Tonight is 12th night. The twelve days of Christmas over. The night that Christmas decorations and trees are traditionally taken down in the UK. In Spain it is the night that the Three Kings (Los Reyes Magos) visit with presents for the boys and girls.
But first a little aside…
Summer of ‘69
I got my first real six-string
Bought it at the five-and-dime
Played it ‘till my fingers bled
Was the summer of sixty-nine
The opening words to that well-known rock ballad by Bryan Adams. It was also the opening number by a rock band who played at a Christmas party I was at the other week. Everyone sang along (as you do). It was only later, with the tune still in my head, that I thought about the year. In the summer of 1969 I was the exact same age as my son is now. Five years old.
His sixth Christmas has been and gone. Not that he would remember the first few. In December of ’69 I can honestly say that I do not remember anything. I can remember lots of bits and pieces from various Christmases when I was young but I could not pin any specific memories to the one when I was five years old. That’s odd because Dani seems so alert. If you were to ask me whether he will remember specific details about this year’s Christmas I would say “yes”. Also, this was his first real Christmas Day. I mean the morning when kids receive their presents in the UK (and many other countries). As I have mentioned in past posts in Spain it is the three Kings Day on January 6th. We have always tried to give Dani the best of both cultures but this was his first real Christmas morning.
Dani’s ‘best of both worlds’ Christmases will soon be enjoyed by his friends. It is now more or less official in Spain. The kids will almost certainly have two days of presents around the Christmas holidays.
While we were in the El Corte Inglés department store recently I picked up their Juguettes (Toys) catalogue. Near the back of the book there are two letter templates. One for Papa Noel (aka Santa Claus, aka Father Christmas) and one for the three Kings (aka Los Reyes Magos). Clearly it suits large toy (and other gift) sellers like El Corte Inglés but this is a new phenomena. Dani was always going to experience the Christmas Day that kids in the UK are used to, plus the Three Kings day (January 6th) that has always been the big day for gifts in Spain. Now it seems all Spanish children are set to benefit from a double set of presents. One day either side of new year’s day.
I know it’s all commercial but they are kids… More Lego anyone?
And so; here we go again. Another Three Kings day is upon us. What will they bring?