Wednesday, 5 January 2011

My First Sinterklaas....

Sinterklaas is the Dutch form of our Christmas. Celebrated around the 5th of December, It is based on St Nicholas. Children, including big children!!, put their shoes by the fireplace and gifts are magically placed in the shoes by morning....St Nicholas is as busy as our very own Santa! You can read about it HERE

But instead of reindeer's, he has Zwarte Piet. Funny and helpful chaps who are black by the chimney soot.....this was all my knowledge of December the 5th in Holland....2010 was the first Sinterklaas for me.....

...After the snow that brought England to a stand still, shamefaced, we walked on to our flight with no problems....everyone around us sleeping on floors, angry over cancelled flights, and tired after 3 days stuck at the airport.....we had luckily booked the only plane going to Schipol that day....How amazed were we!!

Holland covered in a thick blanket of snow, we woke to shoes surrounded by pressie and chocolate euros. The family gathering was held at The wonderful Dutchman's Aunt and Uncles home.....coffees passed around and excited children buzzing about with pure glee....awaiting the pressies.....

After a wonderful dishing out of presents....general chat and baby holding....I heard this almighty knocking on the windows and screamed.....parents giggled....and two Zwarte Piet came noisily into the house....Crazy hair, black faces and very bright outfits.....I was busy trying to take photos...but I thought in the mass of Dutch one sounded slightly familiar....hmmmmm....

Then the voice was recognised....The Dutchman's wonderful best lady Mel....His best friend....we has no idea this was planned...we couldn't stop smiling!

Zwarte Piet sits every child on his/her lap and asks them if they have been good....our Zwarte Piet told funny stories of what had happened during the year to every child...including many grown children....and yes the Wonderful Dutchman was one of them!! I was the last, and as Zwarte piet didnt speak English, her questions were translated.... (even though Mel is an English teacher!!! ) She asked me about the wedding and if i thought it weird that my wonderful Dutchman had a girl as his best man.... too cute!!

They carry sacks of sweets and gingerbread biscuits called pepernoten.....The dutch have a very sweet tooth....The wonderful Dutchman was in his element!!

It was so funny....Mel was fantastic and the best surprise we could of had....she never fell out of character though, and rushed off to the next family without so much as English word spoken...a true professional!!

All in all the day was fun, funny and brilliant to see.....Laughter surrounded us....and even though my Dutch is dreadful....a hilarious moment is universal......and some game instructions written in English always helps!!

Bread Anyone?? Dutch bread is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G...that Wonderful man misses it more than anything else!

I hope your Christmas and Sinterklaas was as fun filled as our first Married one was.

Thank you everyone who made it so fantastic....yes that includes you Jeanette! ;)


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