Where are you now, Gaspar, Melchor, & Baltazar?

Back in the day, (that would be Cuba, 1961. After Castro, but before he canceled Christmas) my family, like most other Cubans (and Puerto Ricans and others of Hispanic descent) celebrated El Dia de Los Tres Reyes Magos on January 6th.

The Day of the Three Kings.

The evening of January 5th, we kids would get ourselves to bed early and look forward to the magic that awaited us the next morning. You see, it was not Santa Claus who brought us gifts, it was these three.

I still remember the haul we would awaken to on January 6th (Feast of the Epiphany, established by the Catholic Church).

And these guys were KINGS. And there were THREE of them. And they had CAMELS! Which meant they could carry that much more loot. (Shut up. I know it's shallow. I was five, okay?)

We knew them by name and sang of songs of fervent praise to them, too. We loved those three: "Gaspar y Melchor y el Rey Baltazar..."

(Read more about the history and story of the 3 Kings here.)

In early in 1961, when we left Cuba, The Three Kings apparently didn't get the memo that we had changed our address and were never to be seen or heard from again in my family. (*deep childlike sigh*)

Santa Claus took over the present delivery and I guess it seemed simpler to my parents to just embrace the Christmas traditions in this country. Although, for years, we still gave credit to "Los Reyes" for bringing our presents.

Sorry Santa! =(

And because I often wax nostalgic and I'm a little distracted and creative, I started wondering what it would look like if the Magi still delivered gifts to us on the morning of the Epiphany.

I think it might look something like this:

Happy Three Kings Day, Everyone! =D

(H/T Melek. Thanks for the wonderful reminder!)