Monday was Three Kings’ Day.
It’s not a holiday celebrated much here in the U.S., but in some other countries it’s a big deal. It’s the day you get presents in your shoes which you sat outside your door. If you are smart, you put out really big shoes. 😉
Our family doesn’t really do Three Kings Day. In the past, we’ve pretty much ignored it except to say, “Happy Three Kings’ Day,” at the breakfast table. This year however, Casi did not want it to slide by with just a nod, so she pulled MeiGuo aside and had her help find a Three Kings’ Day skit that we could do for Family Home Evening.
We are not highly trained and prepared Professional Actors, with a grand Set and Wardrobe, so this guarantees a high level of what the film industry calls “take-outs”, which we shrug and leave in. This also was not a play Casi and MeiGuo were content to just let us put on a hat and call the costume good enough. No. We had to have Costumes. For Real.
And so the story of three poor children, a boy and two girls, wandering shoeless on a cold winter night through the forest when they come across an old woman who asks them why they are out on such a cold night.
“We are looking for the Three Kings,” the children reply.
“And why are you looking for them?” The old woman wonders and shakes her head.
“Because we want them to leave us some toys, but we don’t have any shoes to put outside our door,” the ragged children say rubbing their arms, hopping from one foot to another. “Why are you out in the woods on such a cold night?” they ask her in return.
“Oh, I have an important letter to deliver to the king at the castle.” The old woman points down a path through the dense forest.
“Would you like us to deliver it for you? We are going to be searching out here anyway, we could just go that way and then you could go back to your home and be warm,” the children offer.
“Why thank you, that is so kind.” The old woman hands them the letter. “I hope you find the Three Kings.”
So the children leave the old woman and travel down the path toward the castle. They meet no one else along the way.
When they finally arrive, they are very cold. Before knocking on the great wood door, the boy says, “We had better just leave this with the king and leave. It’s growing too cold for us to be walking out here much longer.” The girls agree with him and the youngest bangs the knocker.
The door is answered by a kind servant who see the children shivering on the doorstep and invites them in to stand by the fire.
“We just wanted to leave this letter for the king. An old woman told us it was very important.” The children say and turn to leave.
“Oh, no. You must wait by the fire. I will take your letter to the king.” He hurries out of the room with a large smile.
He returns moments later with the king himself, who says, “For your kind service to an old woman on a dark road, I have a gift for you. Please follow me.”
The children follow him to a large room, full of toys. “These are yours,” he says to the children.
They wander the room in stunned joy and turn back to the king, saying, “Is it true? These are all ours? But wherever shall we put them all? Our house is not large enough for them.”
“I have another gift for you,” says the king. “Then entire castle is yours. I invite you and your parents to come live here where you will be warm, have toys, and plenty of food to eat, and shoes to protect your feet for the rest of your lives.”
And they all lived happily ever after.
Yeah, it’s kinda sappy and not especially realistic, but we all cooperated and dressed up to play our parts.
But wait. There’s something here you don’t know.
This week, we have had an engineer from my husband’s company visiting us from China. His name is “J”. The good man has had to eat our not-very-Chinese vegetarian meals, and he’s been roped into playing many games with us in the evenings. He’s been a great sport about it all. On Monday night, he was invited to go up to see the Ice Castles in Midway, UT. (It looks pretty amazing, you might want to check it out.) We figured that would take him a while and so we went ahead with our crazy FHE plans. But getting all costumed up at a moment’s notice, takes some time. and so we got a late start.
Wouldn’t you know, just as we were about to begin, “J” comes home. He walks into the living room and immediately starts laughing. Mr. Hot Stuff explains what we are doing, while we all sit there dying of embarrassment. He says, “I have to get a picture! Wait right there!”
Casi is saying, “No, no!” while the rest of us laugh and just go with it. “J” gets a picture of his boss wearing an Asian-style king costume and the rest of us in wrinkled, pieced-together outfits, and then the girls turn to him and say, “Hey! You can be the servant! We needed another person!”
Now it’s “J’s” turn to be embarrassed, but he good-naturedly cooperates as they bring him a costume. Then Mr. Hot Stuff says, “I want a picture, too!” What can “J” do but go along? (I suppose now they both have blackmail fodder, lol.)
Then we do the play and laugh, and have fun, and shed the costumes as quickly as we can.
I wish I had a copy of the photo “J” took of Mr. Hot Stuff, but alas, no.
winner-winner, veggie dinner 🙂