Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The day that the Three Wise Men were met with Santa Claus Spanish Children's Book

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of our Christmas holiday countdown. The tree is up with the decorations, our ottoman in the living room is filled with Christmas books, Santa Claus figurines adorn our home, and the Nativity is set-up in a special place by the Christmas tree with Joseph, Mary, baby Jesus, and the Three Wise Men Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. 
This post contains affiliate links if you click on the link, and if you make a purchase I will receive a small monetary compensation. Thank you! 
Letters for both Santa, and the Three Kings (the magi) have been written and mailed off. As a multicultural familia we have been celebrating both traditions Santa, and the birth of baby Jesus on Christmas day with the subsequent visit of the magi. 

So what would happen if one day the Three Kings actually ran into Santa Claus? I was delighted when I found this book El dia que los Reyes Magos se toparon con Santa Claus / The day that the Three Wise Men were met with Santa Claus (Leer Es Vivir) (Spanish Edition)

This is an adorable story of a little girl who writes to both Santa Claus and the Three Wise Men asking for the same exact things on both letters. Well Santa Claus happens to be at the house on December 24th Christmas eve to deliver his gifts.  

The Three Wise Men  were following  the star on a cloudy night, and ended up at the same address where Santa was! They walked right into the house while Santa was there!  They were instantly baffled, and startled! 

My child started laughing!  It was so funny because they were all surprised! Wondering who's who, and what were they all doing in the house? With all the confusion, and noise the little boy wakes up to find them all in the living room with the gifts.  After a moment of silence Santa says, "Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas!" The Wise  Men realized that it was Christmas, and not January 6th. In the end, the kids keep one gift each and at their mother's request all the other gifts were given to needy children. 

My son really enjoyed this children's book. It brings together two traditions that we as a multicultural familia celebrate.  We were able to see the differences with Santa, his reindeer, and elves; and the Three Kings with their camels, and the king's helpers.   

The publisher's of the book also has some extension ideas to this book, but they are in Spanish. We've been having lots of fun gearing up for El Día de Reyes that we also made gingerbread wise men! 

Dora the Explorer: Dora Celebrates Three Kings Day!

We've been watching YouTube videos (like the one below), and Dora Celebrates Three Kings Day DVD. Soon we'll be decorating the shoe box that will have grass in it for the camels.


Would you like to know how we've been celebrating, or how-to-host a Three Kings cultural play date, or how this day is celebrated around the world? Just click on the picture below:

¡Feliz Día de Reyes! 

A photo posted by Frances (@dtwtmse_frances) on

A photo posted by Frances (@dtwtmse_frances) on

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Parrandas (Puerto Rican version of the U.S.Caroling)

In the middle of the night many Puerto Ricans during the holiday season gather together with musical instruments and sneak up at the doorway of unsuspecting homes to give them a "parranda!"  
♫♫♫♫ ¡Asalto! ¡Te traigo esta trulla pa' que te levantes! ¡Te traigo esta trulla pa' que te levantes! ¡Esta trulla esta caliente, esta trulla esta que arde! ♫♫♫♫
Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links and if you make a purchase after clicking on my link I will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support!
Photo courtesy of my sister Gladys E. Cancel :)
This is a long-standing tradition in Puerto Rico.  The parranderos sing aguinaldos Navideños (Puerto Rican Christmas songs) in true camaraderie, and fellowship to celebrate the holidays. The guest (receiving la parranda)  in return will feed them offering sweet treats, and an "asopao" (hearty soup), and then they are on their way to the next house.  This goes on until wee hours of the night, sometimes within an hour or two before day break visiting different homes.  

In Puerto Rico there are also the "fiestas solemnes" (religious festivals):
  • Misas de Aguinaldos
  • Nochebuena 12/24
  • Misa de Gallo 12/24
  • Día de Navidad 12/25
  • Despedida de Año 12/31
  • Año Nuevo 1/1
  • Día de Reyes 1/6
  • Las Octavas y Octavitas (8 days following 1/6) 
We've been to Puerto Rico during the holiday season, but little one was just a toddler. So no, parrandas then.  Now that he's older I would love to take him and my husband to Puerto Rico so they can live this experience. It's really like no other.  

Every time I watch this video, I can't help but jump from my seat; and sing along! 

"Alegre Vengo..." is another song that you sing during las parrandas.

For a more mellow song, and mood we often listen to this beautiful song "Niño Jesús" by Tony Croatto. This one is a classic! :)

I was looking for books about Puerto Rican cultural traditions specifically about parrandas.  I came across Mimi's Parranda/La Parranda de Mimi (Spanish Edition). Unfortunately, they didn't have it in our local library so I ordered it, and I'm hoping to receive it soon.  I will update this blog post as soon as I review the book. 

However, I recently had the opportunity to review Celebrate Christmas Around the World by Multicultural Kids Blog. I was thrilled to see a whole section on Christmas in Puerto Rico! You can read about the parrandas, and how Christmas is celebrated on this beautiful island; and five other countries! You can order your copy here

Before I end my post I want to share a very meaningful picture that my sister took of our now 94 yr. old Abuelita. This picture was taken two years ago, and she's singing a trulla.  She too, has been enjoying this tradition for many, many years. She may not go out in the middle of the night to parrandear, but she enjoys it at home with our Mamá and the rest of our extended familia.

A special thank you to my sister and cuñado (brother-in-law) for the pictures and for not missing one parranda in Puerto Rico! ¡Wepa!!! 

Photo courtesy of my sister Gladys E. Cancel :)
This post is part of the Christmas in Different Lands hosted by Multicultural Kids Blog. Follow the series, and read about Christmas in Canada, Spain, China, and more shared by our wonderful multicultural mom bloggers across the globe. 

December 1 
Crafty Moms Share on Multicultural Kid Blogs 
December 2 
Dad’s the way I like it 
Adventure in a Box 
December 3 
American Mom in Bordeaux
Chasing the Donkey 
December 4
Planet Smarty Pants 
December 5 
Rue du Belvedere 
December 6 
Adventures in Mommydom 
December 7 
Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes 
December 8 
Finding Dutchland 
December 9 
Lou Messugo 
Montessori en Casa 
December 10 
the piri-piri lexicon 
December 11 
Teach Me Mommy 
December 12 
Marie’s Pastiche 
Raising a Trilingual Child 
December 13 
Russian Step By Step for Children 
December 14 
Expat Since Birth 
December 15 
All Done Monkey 
December 16 
Let the Journey Begin 
Cuddles and Crumbs 
December 17
Crafty Moms Share
Sand In My Toes 
December 18 
Smart Tinker 
December 19 
La Cité des Vents 
December 20 
Bare Feet on the Dashboard 
December 21 
La Cité des Vents 
December 22 
Cutting Tiny Bites 
A Teachable Year 
December 23 
Creative World of Varya 
December 24 
the piri-piri lexicon on Multicultural Kid Blogs

Friday, December 5, 2014

Three Kings Day and Epiphany Around the World

During this holiday season Christians across the world celebrate Christmas, and the Epiphany. The Epiphany or Twelfth Day is the celebration of the three wise men who followed the star to Bethlehem looking for baby Jesus. They followed the star to bring Jesus gifts of gold, myrrh, and frankincense 12 days after he was born. 
Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links and if you make a purchase after clicking on my link I will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support! 
To my surprise, Day of the Magi or El Día de Reyes is not solely a Latin American tradition it is also celebrated in many European countries as well. 

I've compiled a wonderful selection of multicultural children's book, and I reached out to a wonderful group of mommas from the +Multicultural Kid Blogs, and asked how they celebrated this season. 

Multicultural children's books about Christmas and The Magi (Three Kings Day and Epiphany) Around the World 
Photo Credit Via Creative Commons 
 Three Kings Day and Epiphany Traditions Around the World 
From the mouths of our multicultural mommas across the globe: 

+Ute Limacher-Riebold from Expat Since Birth shares different versions of this popular legend La Befana who is a kindly old witch bearing gifts by climbing down the chimney in Italy on January 5th. She shares with us  the different legends surrounding this popular character in Italy. 

I love how she celebrates with her multicultural family!  She expresses the following:  "I celebrated it in Italy, now in NL a bit less... In our family we have a very "personal" way to celebrate all this: the "Heilinge Drei Könige" (Dia de Reyes) and Befana together but also Sinterklaas/Sankt Nikolaus. We came up with a funny explanation: that Sankt Nikolaus is like the brother of La Befana, or that they inspire one another... I think it would be very interesting to know how multicultural families justify the celebration of multiple festivities. It can be quite challenging and I know families where parents don't agree with part of the traditional celebrations of their partners culture(s)..." You can read her post here

In France it's a tradition to eat La Galette des Rois! Do I have a treat for you! Three wonderful bloggers share how they celebrate this tradition, and two of them share recipes! 

+Annabelle Humanes from The Piri-Piri Lexicon shares a yummy recipe of La galette des Rois: a French Three Kings Day cake.

+Maria Babin from Trilingual Mama shares an Almond cream pastry recipe.  

From Stroud Is All Over the Place shares a beautiful tradition on children singing and knocking on doors honoring Three Kings Day in Germany.   Three Kings Cake is also served that night to celebrate the occasion.

+Sasha Martin  from Global Table Adventures shares a delicious recipe:  A Cake for 3 Kings (Dreikönigskuchen).


Puerto Rico
Celebrating El Día de Reyes in Puerto Rico is huge! They have their own Museo de Reyes! A museum dedicated to the magi.  Decorating shoe boxes, and placing them by the bed with some grass in it, and water is also part of the tradition. I myself, continue to nourish this family tradition even if we're living in the U.S.A. We've also had cultural playdates, and playgroups where the kids decorate their boxes

+Olga Mecking  from the European Mama shares her traditions: "We write the initials of the three kings on the door (K(acper)+M(elchior)+B(altazar) with chalk and then the year (for example now it'd be K+M+B, 2014). I think it is also the time the Christmas Tree is dismantled. They are the names of the Three Kings I've learned at church." 

Per +Ute Schönherr  this tradition is also done in Germany, Switzerland,  Italy, and in the Netherlands too.

+Monica Olivera from Mommy Maestra has a wealth of information on celebrating El Día de Reyes! A Mini-Concert, Spanish language books on Los Reyes Magos, and if you're looking to do some activities she has a free printable here, and lesson plans and more activities here

If you're looking for more book suggestions  +Carrie P. from Crafty Moms Share offers a ton of suggestions on Multicultural Christmas books that you can't miss!

Follow Frances @ DTWTMSE's board Three Kings Day {Día de Reyes} on Pinterest.


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