In a perfect world we would spend every year in Mexico during the Christmas Season. I have wonderful memories of getting together each year at my abuelita’s house, of playing with my cousins, enjoying the posadas, drinking the ponche, smacking the piñatas, praying, rocking baby Jesus, hugging everybody, eating after midnight, and coming back the next day for leftovers.
Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to keep this Christmas tradition here in the States, because each year we have been in different places. But traditions are very important to me and Reyes Magos is one we have been able to keep in our home.
The Feast of Los Reyes Magos, for me, captures the true meaning of giving and receiving at Christmastime. It’s a day of comfort, joy, family, and prayer, but also of excitement while waiting for the gifts Los Reyes bring to Baby Jesus and to our children.
I love that in my bilingual and bicultural family we get to share celebrations: My kids have both Santa Claus, to whom they write in English, and Los 3 Reyes Magos, to whom they write in Spanish.
Every January 5th, I go to the Mexican market and buy the biggest “Rosca de Reyes” I can find and gather my family and as many of my dearest friends as possible.
When our guests arrive, and before we eat a dinner of tamales with refried beans and drink horchata, my husband reads the story of the Three Wise Men from the Bible. Then we leave the kids to run and play for a little bit, while the adults enjoy some conversation.
Finally we gather round the table and cut the Rosca de Reyes. It is very exciting to see the kids looking for the baby Jesus hidden inside their piece!! We always have Mexican-style hot chocolate in which to dip our bread, yum!
At the end of the day, my kids take their shoes and put them under the Christmas Tree along with their wish lists. They follow mamá and papá dutifully to their normal bedtime routine which always goes smoothly because they know they need to be asleep in order to allow the Reyes Magos to come to our home.
The next morning the boys will get up and run to the living room to see what has been left next to their shoes! There is nothing sweeter than the smiles on those faces. I can’t wait!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!
Silvia is the creator of Mama Latina Tips a bilingual blog for Latina moms. In Mama Latina Tips you will find topics of interest to all moms, as on anything that appeals to a multi-faceted Latina women. You can also find Silvia and her tips on Twitter.
Your Bicultural Holiday Traditions continues tomorrow with a story from Marcela Hede, Hispanic Culture Online, about how she introduces her Colombian traditions in a fun way for her son. Make sure you’re subscribed to our feed either by RSS or email so you don’t miss a beat.