When we were in Puerto Rico in November, one of our cab drivers bragged to us that P.R. has one of the longest Christmas seasons around. They start to put up decorations around Thanksgiving (although the Puerto Ricans aren’t so much into Thanksgiving itself) and carry on until they celebrate the beginning of Christmas on Dec. 25th. The party only gets bigger after that, and they have big celebrations and parades and gifts and such for Three Kings Day on Jan. 6th (Epiphany). Three Kings Day is the pinnacle of the season, but the celebrations and decorations and such last until Jan. 15th. I asked, “Why the 15th?” He replied that it was just 3 Kings Day plus another week (an octave, really), because who wants to stop Christmas on Three Kings Day? Makes sense to me.

I am no authority on Christmas in Puerto Rico. I have this from one friendly cab driver, plus the interweb informs me that the P.R. Christmas is long and hearty. Any Puerto Rican readers out there — and I am sure I have thousands, of course — please tell me about the length and intensity of your Christmas celebrations!

What we observed in Puerto Rico was: awesome decorations that started in mid-November and lots of wise men. We saw many decorations, ornaments and iconography with the 3 kings (sometimes the Holy Family was nowhere in sight, just the three wise guys).

I am all about celebrating until Jan. 15th. I love Christmas, and I don’t really start celebrating it in earnest until Christmas Day, so extending the holiday cheer sounds good to me. And since marriage makes it harder for me to be with all of my relatives at once, it seems all the better to extend Christmas now that I have multiple family members all over the country.

So, this year my family is celebrating Christmas Puerto Rico style. We had Christmas with Ned’s family in Colorado on Christmas Day. More gifts during the 12 days of Christmas in California with Ned’s grandparents, his aunt and uncle and his brother and his wife. On 12th Night we had a party and gift exchange with some friends in D.C. Then this past Saturday, Jan. 12th, we had a tardy Christmas with my sisters, brother-in-law and tiny, oblivious nephew (who spent Christmas day in the hospital, but now is doing fine).

Our tree is still up at home, mostly because I was in Iowa and New Jersey since Epiphany. Ned and I will probably have the last round of gifts tonight, then say goodbye to Maria the Tree … just in time for the end of the Christmas in Puerto Rico…