According to some of their parents, El Salvador was too far for Santa and that’s why he couldn’t make it every year. Some parents used the 3 Reyes Magos (Three kings) holiday to delay the gifts just a little longer. The claim, 3 Reyes are closer but take a little longer since they come in Camels. I always had my doubts about the theories since I was one of the lucky ones Santa did visit. I couldn’t understand why Santa came to my grandma’s house and not theirs especially when I knew I hadn’t been the best girl. But this had nothing to do with how far we were from Santa, being good or bad. It was about poverty and the financial inabilities so many families face all around the world. That is why my Mother left the country when I was 2 and that’s how Santa was able to visit me.
I remember one year I was so sure Santa wasn’t coming because my friends kept saying he was too far and he didn’t like poor kids. But when I woke up Christmas morning something magical happened. I found a bag of new underwear close to baby Jesus under grandma’s tree. I’ve never been more excited about underwear in my life! Now I realize my excitement wasn’t just about the cute underwear but it was about a special feeling. I felt special. My innocence allowed me to cold-heartedly believe Santa actually walked in our dirt floor and placed the Heidi calsones (underwear) under the tree. I thought it couldn’t have been grandma since she hadn’t been to the Mercado in weeks and I couldn’t find anything when I look through her stuff… I know, bad girl!!
A few days ago my Tias and I talked about what we remembered about Navidad in El Salvador. We didn’t talk about gifts but of all the vivid memories we each have of the time. We remember the shape of the tree. We laughed because it wasn’t a pine tree; it was more like tree branch but from a real tree! They remember the color of the ornaments and lights that made that tree branch so beautiful and festive. I remember the hay under the nativity scene, the color of the baby’s Jesus blanket. I remember going to church and giving thanks. I remember kids running around excited to see and hear fireworks in the neighborhood. I remember eating chicken and meat- this only happened in special occasions! I remember neighbors coming to give and receive hugs at midnight. I remember it felt like a very special time.
Poverty teaches you how to not expect much and really appreciate the little bit you do get or have. When Santa or the Reyes Magos did come to my friends homes they were so excited and their parents thankful to be able give them a ‘lil something. That little something could be a ball, a set of Canicas (marbles) or a pack of underwear!
On this Christmas day lets be thankful for all the greatness in our lives and every day we are able to share with those we love.
Lets give forgiveness and understanding.
Lets learn acceptance and tolerance
Lets tell someone we love, we love them.
Lets love without expectations
Lets learn from the lessons life so generously gives us.
Lets learn how to forgive our selves
Lets accept we are not perfect, just human.
Lets not forget Santa doesn’t make it to every home.
Lets become Santa little helpers and we give a hand.
Lets learn how to take it easy and not run so fast others can’t keep up.
Lets take moments to breathe, and reflect
Lets take care of ourselves like we take care of others.
Lets allow others to help us
Lets embrace evolution and change
Lets appreciate simplicity and kindness
I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful Christmas Day and thank you so very much for reading Frida’s Cafe!