James & Emily

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Sunday, 7 December 2008


On the 5th of December of every year, Sinterklaas comes to Holland with lots of gifts for children.
It is an old tradition, he actually arrives the 2nd week of November by boat from Spain and he has lots of helpers, which are called "zwarte Pieten". From the moment on he arrives in Holland, children may place their shoes in front of the fireplace every night and hopefully the next day there will be sweets in their shoes. The so called "zwarte Pieten" enter the house in the same way as Santa Clause does, via the chimney. In return the "zwarte Pieten" get to take some carrots up the chimney for Sinterklaas' horse. Yes, he throttles every night on his horse on the roofs of houses for three weeks. 
It all works up to the 5th of December, because on that night all the children who have been good that year will get presents! And the story goes that if a child has been naughty (or bad) that year, it will go in the 'bag of Sinterklaas back to Spain! With the 'lovely' weather we are having here it would be the best present actually :) 

I can remember so well how these nights would go when I was a child. We would behave impeccable for weeks! If my parents would only mention the word 'Sinterklaas', we would act like angels in an instant. And then after weeks and weeks, which felt like years and years in a child's' world, the day arrives where hopefully a big bag of gifts will be placed in front of the front door. Usually there would be lots of bouncing on different windows, just to let us know that Sinterklaas had arrived. So if we are ever so lucky that our biggest present is to be announced, it must sound like loud bouncing on a window!

In Holland kids usually believe in this story till the age of 7 or 8, however, a good friend of my told me that his 5 year old son is believing 'just in case'... time is changing. 
But still, it would be so nice to celebrate Sinterklaas with our own family, it has a wonderful, warm and loving feeling to sit with our own family, sing songs, see everyone unwrap their gifts and just be exhausted by all the excitement over the last couple of weeks... and up to the next event because Alexander was brought up with Santa Clause! More gifts! LOL, I can not wait.

Today I am starting on the Christmas decoration, for me it does not matter that we won't be much around, the lights have to be in place haha.
A good holiday season to all and I hope everybody gets the present you want the most!

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