I love holiday season decorations and decorative lights. Especially the lights! I love them so much that as soon as the decorations come down, I really miss those wonderful expressions of love and wonder, which provide a magical illusion.
In our own home, we decorate early and we don’t take them down until after the traditional date of the feast of the epiphany – January 6 – otherwise known as the day of the Three Wise Men. I love the Christmas tree full of twinkling lights and non-traditional ornaments, little gems purchased on trips to various countries reminding us of the town, the shopkeeper, or the outdoor market where we purchased them. We cover doors inside the house with colorful gift wrap and attach Christmas greetings to them, which not only remind us of the people who sent them, but also of the special feelings each card brings. An indoor Nativity sets the mood for contemplation, and reminds us to take time to appreciate the blessings in our lives. Once a year, we partake of delicacies of the season as well as special decorative items, such as the corn husk Virgin of Guadalupe and Juan Diego – one of my favorites. I can envision the artist who made the Virgin and Juan Diego figures using left-over corn husks after a big tamale party!
Ornamentation becomes an integral part of our interior design for a full month. When we take it down, it’s like we’ve flattened a wall, taken away the dazzling color of interior design, and removed the sparkling lights illuminating our way to the bedroom each night.
The tradition of the Wise Men is very much alive in some countries, such as Mexico, where children receive gifts on the 6 of January. They may get a small present on Christmas Eve or Christmas day, a prelude for what will meet their eyes on the morning of Día de Reyes. The Wise Men deliver presents during the night, like Santa Claus. And of course, there is the traditional rosca de reyes, which is a king’s cake. It’s a cake made in a ring or Bundt pan, decorated with candied fruit, and cooked with three or four baby figures inside, representing Baby Jesus. The concept of the miniature figures is to remind us, again, of our many blessings. Those people who receive a slice of cake with a baby in it are presumed to be highly blessed.
The traditions, the food, the decorations, and the wondrous atmosphere are over, and we are into 2018. We want to wish everyone a healthy and safe New Year with many wonderful surprises!
Check out my Nikki Garcia Thrillers:
And my collection of short stories:
Backyard Volcano www.amazon.com/dp/1943306044