Monday, December 2, 2013

The Three Weissmans

We were shopping at AKI in Fuengirola the other day (our version of Home Depot, which — if you don't know — is a USA chain of home-improvement and construction superstores). As I browsed the Christmas aisles, I came across a very popular outdoor decoration that I wrote about during our first Christmas in Sevilla (click here).

In the USA, Santa can often be seen climbing a rope ladder hung from a window. Not the "real" Santa, obviously. Everyone knows he and his reindeer land on the roof. (Although, our 6-year-old great-niece, Eloise, wants to know how they all land on the roof without waking everybody up and — while she's on the subject — how Santa and the reindeer fly in the first place. "It doesn't make any sense!")

CLIMBING THE SHELVES OF CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS.

But, back to my point. Instead of rope-ladder-climbing Santas, Spain more often has rope-ladder-climbing Wise Men. AKI had great rope-ladder climbing Wise Men and I was tempted to buy them, especially since they sell out early in the season. But, the price was €16.50 and I could imagine, in our cyclonic winds, seeing them ripped viciously from our terrace and swept into the sea.

When I was very little (and kind of dense), I first heard people talking about the Three Wise Men and I didn't quite understand. I wondered who the Weissmans were and why they were so important.

2011:  SAFER IN SEVILLA FOR FIVE WEISSMANS (AND SANTA).

Older, No Wiser (Weisser?)
When I was in junior high school, after my first year of Spanish language lessons where I learned about "albondigas" (meatballs) — click here for that — I no longer thought about the Weissmans. But I could never remember the names of the Three Wise Men.

In my mind, they were Shadrock, Meeshock, and Albondigas (although I always knew Albondigas couldn't be right). I later realized those were the names (well, sort of) of the three men in the bible famous for being saved— by divine intervention — from being burned alive. Except their names were really Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

And, as long as I'm confessing: We used to drive by a billboard on Long Island. It read: "Jesus Saves." I thought it was an advertisement for a bank.

And, yes, I'm an atheist.

ALBONDIGAS (BALTAZAR) IN SEVILLA 2012.

30 comments:

  1. Brilliant.


    I still howling at "Jesus Saves."

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    1. Bob:
      I was such a clever little boy. I think I was in my 30s before I told anyone about this...

      Delete
  2. Six years old is too young to start questioning with logic. It demonstrates how clever kids are now. The really smart ones though, will not say anything lest they jeopardise that extra christmas gift from Santa.

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    1. Andrew:
      We had the same conversation... wondering when she was going to figure out that she'd better not say any more or the Santa gifts might stop arriving.

      Delete
  3. "Jesus saves" reminds me of "In God we trust. All others pay cash."

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    1. Judith:
      I thought at the time that what they were saying was, "Jesus Saves. You should, too."

      Delete
  4. Makes more sense climbing a ladder to get in...I suppose, considering the possibilities...Europeans are so much smarter than North Americans! lol
    every time I see 'Jesus Saves' I will think of 'banking'!!

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    1. Jim:
      I'm so glad to be able to enlighten your religious insights.

      Delete
  5. Love yesterday's post of the cats... Is Moose REALLY saying "kiss my patooie"... of course he is! I wish those wisemen were a tradition here... I'd love to have them climbing up our rig. And last... isn't it funny how we perceive things as kids .... and our thoughts when the light bulb come on?

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    1. Sharon:
      I can't remember when the lightbulb finally came on. Probably not until I was 11 or 12!

      Delete
  6. first time i'm such decoration. interesting...

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    1. mike:
      I had never seen the climbing Wise Men until we moved to Spain. Really fun. (Thanks for stopping by!)

      Delete
  7. I think that the one ladder with Santa the other figure below looks like an old woman, is it the Befana? If so it is Italian, since in Italy it is the Befana who distributes gifts to children and not Santa.

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    1. Laurent:
      That last one was definitely Baltazar (unless Befana had very dark skin and a beard). And the one in the middle looked like Santa... except that I had never known Santa to wear a cape. So he probably was Caspar, after all.

      Delete
  8. Here in our village three corner towers of the old town wall (when we had one) were dedicated to the Three Wise Men: Kaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar (the fourth was dedicated to St Michael). The chose them because their supposéd remains are in a shrine within the Cathedral at Koln/Cologne.
    The towers are long gone but two are marked by large houses that still have their names.

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    1. Kirk:
      I had no idea their remains are said to be buried at Koln. I was there a long, loooong, time ago.

      Delete
  9. The Weissmans? They bring lousy gifts. I mean, really, Myrrh? To a baby shower?
    (with apologies to Cathy Ladman)

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    1. Walt the Fourth:
      I never did understand those lousy gifts. (And, another confession, I thought one of the gifts brought by the Weissmans was Frankenstein.)

      Delete
  10. Just tell that unhealthily precocious Eloise - "Shut up or I'll give you a BIG smack!"

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    1. Raybeard:
      Ooh, so warm and cuddly. I love precocious... as long as it's respectful. She can be really funny.

      Delete
  11. My husband and his nine brothers and sisters, regardless of gender had the two middle names of Maria Baldizsar (Balthazar). Oh, except for his sister Maria who didn't have to be Maria Maria. I think Christmas customs are so interesting. And Twelfth Night, which is really the feast of the Epiphany or the Three Kings. In Germany (and some other places) the three kings go from house to house blessing the house and writing C+M+B and the date on the lintel of the doors.

    The Weissmen climbing up the laddar make me wonder a bit.

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    Replies
    1. I think Maria Maria Baldizsar Etc. would have been brilliant!

      I sure hope the three kings didn't write in indelible ink.

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  12. Replies
    1. I like the Weissmen climbing up the laddar!

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  13. I am loving the ladder thing.........I would love one

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  14. I am picturing the Weissmans in costume climbing a rope ladder to your New York balcony on Christmas Eve with dreidls and candy canes!

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  15. I thought this entry one of your wittiest; loved it!
    I am going to steal The Weissmans and say it often here

    ReplyDelete

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