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by Juan Hernando

Gold, frankincense, myrrh

The three wise men The Three Wise Playmobils. By tomylees is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

On the night of the 5th of January every year, thousands of Spanish children take to the streets to watch the Three Wise Men parade. Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar will leave presents for them at night next to their shoes if they have behaved well throughout the year, if they go to bed early and if they leave them a glass of milk or water for their camels.

The faces of all the children when they see them passing by, their nerves about whether they will receive the presents they had written in their letters and their smiles the next morning are pure joy. The satisfaction of the rest of society (parents, vendors, mail carriers, journalists…) for having been part of the secret of the Three Wise Men successfully, too.

Bloganuary’s fifth prompt asks us: What brings you joy in life? And to have such a recent experience of childhood joy that takes you back to your own memories and toys is a challenge.

I guess the most common answer is that joy is health and being with your loved ones: having dinner with your family, having a beer with your friends, and having a good time with your partner. The older you get, the more you adjust your priorities. And the material things that used to make you happy now make you less happy by comparison.

Even so, it is very easy to fall into the wheel of stress, work, and worries… and forget to enjoy the little things that make everything more bearable. That’s why my goals for this year. That’s why I’m trying to have lots of plans and to organise my priorities in life better.

Just as the Three Wise Men brought gold, frankincense and myrrh to the Bethlehem portal, this year I hope they bring me all those little things that bring me joy: trips, beers, afternoons spent with blankets and series, that work doesn’t get complicated, that people are grateful for what you do to help them, or simply those random messages from people who remember you.

The holiday period is coming to an end in Spain, and now it’s time for the most challenging part: getting back to reality. May that reality be the one that brings us joy and fun.

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