A Matter Of Perspective
By Kathy Koches
Since my birthday is on January 5th I always keep my Christmas tree up until at least the 6th or 7th. I used to get teased about this a lot when I was a kid, but I didn’t care—after all not everyone can have a Christmas tree on their birthday, right?
Then I moved to Mexico and discovered the wonderful tradition of Three Kings Day. January 6th is believed to be the day the three magi arrived in Bethlehem, bringing gifts to the baby Jesus. In Mexico, and many other parts of the world, this is the day when presents are exchanged. Christmas is a purely religious holiday and the children wait anxiously for Three Kings Day when their shoes are filled with candies and presents are received. No one here in Mexico thinks it strange that I have my Christmas tree still up! We always get a Rosca de Reyes (Three Kings cake) which is the Mexican equivalent of fruit cake (but much better.) A plastic baby Jesus is baked into the cake and whoever gets the piece with the baby has to bring tamales to the fiesta on Candelaria, February 2nd. There are parades and fireworks and lots of parties.
However, on January 6, 2021 a horrific event took place in the United States. At the instigation of the defeated former President, a riotous mob stormed the U.S. Capitol building, breaking in and desecrating its halls. Congressmen and women were afraid for their lives as the mob surged into the building, threatening to kill the Speaker of the House and hang the Vice President. Fortunately, the many brave law enforcement officers were able to keep them from reaching their intended targets and the ballots from each states’ electors were kept safe. At 3:30 am Congress returned and completed their duty to certify the election of the new President.
Democracy was threatened and the Capitol was breached. This date will always be remembered as a date that will live in infamy in the minds of U.S. citizens, just like December 7th and September 11th are now. It will never be “just another day.”
As I sit here on my patio in the sunshine of Mexico, looking out at beautiful Lake Chapala, finishing up the Rosca de Reyes and writing this story, I am glad that the date January 6th means something entirely different here, and is a date to be celebrated and enjoyed. I suppose, after all, it is just a matter of perspective.
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com