In North America, Christmas is short-lived ending on Boxing Day. But our family, Christmas does not end until the arrival of Three Kings. That is a Filipino tradition that we must have learned under the tutelage of Spanish.
When it comes to gifts, the giving is the Feast of Epiphany.
We eagerly wait for this day to give and receive gifts (not on Christmas day) because that’s the day when the wise men came bearing gifts (not Santa Claus) to baby Jesus.
This happens on the first Sunday of the New Year.
Traditionally, our parents told us to leave our shoes (not socks) by the door or the stairs (not fireplace) before we go to bed should we want our gifts. Lo and behold, when we wake up the following day, Sunday morning, our shoes are filled with candies or coins. Sometimes, we get real wrapped presents besides our shoes.
Now we live in Canada, we keep the tradition down to the next generation. For the children receiving extra presents two weeks later is an extension of Christmas and a grim day because they are going back to school the next day. They even get creative and leave a sign on the door where the shoes are kept pointing for the wise men where to go.
Much to the Magi’s surprise when they open the door, the kids put out all of their shoes out!
Filling these shoes with sweets and candies is just like Halloween time all over again. However, the Magi is much wiser than the children. They kept the Halloween candies for this occasion.
Thank goodness Christmas is over.