Manuela Carmena, the left-wing mayor of Madrid had expressed her hope that all of Madrid's children would find gifts on Epiphany morn and had invited those who didn't to call the city council.
“It's my wish that not a single child in Madrid is left without a present,” Carmena said in an interview with Cadena Ser on January 5th ahead of the cabalgata – the processions of the Three Kings.
“If a child wakes up and finds nothing then they should call the City Hall, as that's not right,” she said.
And so it was that when eight small children awoke on January 6th to discover that there had been no delivery from Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar, they put in calls to the City Hall helpline 010.
Council workers have had a whip round to buy some toys for the unlucky children who were told that “due to logistical problems” their deliveries from the magi were delayed and had been brought to City Hall for safekeeping instead.
Spanish newspaper 20 Minutos reported that of the eight children set to receive gifts, five were siblings from a Pakistani family, while two were children of a couple whose divorced parents were both unemployed.
The eighth child was a seven-year-old from the working class Vallecas neighbourhood of Madrid.