birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Dia de los Tres Reyes Magos

12 days after Christmas is El Dia de los Tres Reyes Magos, or Three Kings Day

I don't remember for certain, but I think we started celebrating Three Kings Day when I was around 10. Perhaps we had celebrated when I was younger, but I wasn't conscious of it. For me this was a cultural celebration. I don't remember ever having believed in Santa Claus, especially because he rarely visited my house, except for in the form of a school counselor with a big black garbage bag.

But I absolutely adored the ceremony of Three Kings Day. My mom would bring in some shoe boxes, and we'd go out in search for straw and carrots for the reyes' horses or camels or donkeys or whatever it is that they were riding when they supposedly visited our house.

We'd sit the boxes at the foot of our beds, and in the morning the hay and veggies would be replaced with small trinkets, books, or other gifts.

The shoe box tradition only lasted a couple of years, because eventually we just couldn't be bothered to feed those freakin horses. But Three Kings Day, overall, has been a lifesaver, particularly on years that Christmas comes around a little too soon. For me, that's almost every year, so most of my family members and friends know not to expect anything on Christmas. 12 days later, though, they can expect a visit from the three wise men.

Thanksgiving

Black Panther