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For Catholics all over the world, Christmas is a traditional holiday that starts on December 25. It commemorates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, but it is also a time to celebrate with our loved ones, exchange gifts, eat typical products, say goodbye to the year that ends, and welcome the new one that begins.
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But, in Spain, we have our own holiday traditions, and when New Year’s celebrations are over and January 6 is approaching, we start to prepare one the most exciting festivities —especially for the youngest of the family: the arrival of the Three Wise Men. We have already told you in other posts of this blog what this tradition consists of, but today we are going to give you some tips for you to enjoy the ritual of writing the letter with your children, nephews, cousins or little siblings. Not only is it about making a list of all the things they want to be given, but it can be also a good opportunity to teach them to think about their actions and the situation of the world around them.
Writing the letter to the Three Wise Men can be a great way to perform an exercise in self-criticism in which children reflect on their behavior and improve it in the future. It is therefore a good time to teach them that they should evolve day by day and have a conscious life, not only on these dates, but also during the rest of the year. They will learn to value that every effort has a reward.
Each year in the month of December, children start to decide what gifts they want to receive on January 6. But since they can't ask for everything in the toy catalog —because the Wise Men would go bankrupt— the little ones must learn to choose what they really want. They will be also learning that every decision we make has some kind of impact on our lives. Explain also that, although their desires are reasonable, they may not be given everything they asked for, as the Wise Men must reach every child in the world and, sometimes, they make mistakes. Thus, they will learn that we cannot have all we want, even when we deserve it.
Although we all know that children love toys, it can be a good point to teach them that there are other valuable things to ask for. Maybe, something to make the world a better place, like the ending of war, hunger or pollution throughout the world; or even something for their future, such as a family trip, or an unforgettable experience in a Spanish summer camp! They will learn a new language and make friends from all over the world.
Hottest toys today encourage sedentary lifestyle, that is, they are designed for children to play without much effort. However, this can be a good time to change habits and ask for some toy that promotes outdoor exercise, teamwork or intellectual development. Good examples of this are puzzles, bicycles, skates, sports balls, or even language courses!
Take this opportunity to teach some history to the youngest of the family. Tell them about the origin of cultural holidays . They will be learning interesting facts about our past and having fun at the same time, since history can be told as a story. They’ll love it!
At don Quijote, we hope you make the most of this blog post, so that you can perform the ritual in the best way! Here, you can find a letter template that you can download (click on the photo) and complete with the children around you. Do you take the challenge?