10:54 a.m. [Click on sketches to view larger]
Santa Claus didn’t bring me presents when I was growing up in Spain, but the Three
Kings did. They didn’t arrive until January 6, which left me very little time to play with my gifts before the school break was over a couple of days later.
For my kids, Santa brought presents on the usual day, but they’ll also find an extra gift tomorrow next to their shoes. That was the prop we used at home so the Wise Men would know where to leave each present.
Today I went to St. James Cathedral to pay the Three Wise Men a visit. To my surprise, the Nativity scene didn’t feature them. “Where are the Three Kings?” I asked Brenda Bellamy, the Sacristan on duty. She said they had already celebrated Epiphany on Sunday. “Sometimes the holidays are moved so more people would come,” she said. But she graciously rolled the Kings back to the chapel so I could sketch them.
Later, I spoke on the phone with Corinna Laughlin, St. James’ director of Liturgy, who said the figures, including the Nativity scene, date back to the ’50s, at least.
Joseph, Mary and the animals were badly damaged in a fire in 1992 and they were restored in a different style, she explained. The Kings, though, still display colorful attire.
I may be the only person in Seattle putting my shoes out tonight for the Kings to bring me gifts, but I’m happy to keep the tradition alive in my household, even if my kids get a little spoiled.
Extra! You can see photos from Sunday’s Epiphany celebration at St. James Cathedral on their website.
January 5, 2010 at 2:52 PM