By John Smith •
Published: 11 Nov 2023 • 11:22
Three Kings Parade a must in any Spanish town
Credit: Keith Williamson flickr
Every European country has a special figure (or figures) who delivers gifts to children on or around Christmas.
Whilst in the UK, it’s Christmas Day, the majority of Europeans actually open their presents on Christmas Eve, December 24, either when the sun goes down or approaching midnight.
Some Catholic countries such as Italy and Spain wait until January 6, the Epiphany, supposedly the date that the Wise Men arrived at the stable and gave Christ his special gifts.
Recently, in Spain, possibly because of the large number of European immigrants who have settled and have children, the date for the giving of gifts has become a little blurred and children are very clever at ‘persuading’ their parents that they are bad, if they don’t give them presents at Christmas and Three Kings Day.
In today’s difficult financial times, for many families, Christmas and the New Year are a major drain on their resources and the fact that they are being made to feel obligated to give their children presents on both dates makes their situation even more difficult.
Should they take a stance and just choose one day to give gifts or give in to the ‘blackmail’ that their children’s friends receive fantastic gifts on Christmas Day and Three Kings, so they must be bad parents if they don’t treat their kids the same?
Some parents, European and Spanish have found a third way which is to give a small present on the day that is the traditional gift day in their culture and then save the big gifts for the other day.
With so much poverty worldwide, many generous people in Spain, coming from many different backgrounds and nations collect gifts for underprivileged children and perhaps those lucky children who expect expensive presents might be less demanding if this is explained to them or even asked to give one of their older toys to someone who needs it.
Do you have an opinion of how parents should treat the matter of gift giving?
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development.
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