Tuesday, December 07, 2004


This last weekend I’ve celebrated ‘Sinterklaas’ (St. Nicholas) with my family, grandmother and uncle. Sinterklaas can best be described as the Dutch equivalent of Christmas with Santa Claus. On ‘Sinterklaasavond’ (St. Nicholas’ Eve), which is the 5th of December, there’s a celebration with family and everyone receives presents. Young children are told the presents come from Sinterklaas. Sinterklaas is an old man with a long white beard, a red and white garment, a red mitre and a golden crosier. His outfit resembles that of a bishop and he rides a white horse. He delivers the presents through the chimney together with his helpers, the ‘zwarte pieten’. I’ve always thought the best possible translation - ‘black petes’ - is extremely stupid, because it doesn’t make any sense to people that aren’t familiar with Sinterklaas and zwarte pieten. You might have noticed the entire Sinterklaas-thing has a lot of similarities with the Christmas celebration with Santa Claus they have in some other countries. I like Sinterklaas better though because it’s typically Dutch. It’s something just about all children in the Netherlands grow up with and it’s really something that’s part of your childhood. I remember I was absolutely devastated when my parents told me Sinterklaas wasn’t real and they had been buying the presents all those years. There were some tears involved.

The presents I bought for my family this year were all much liked. I really enjoy buying other people presents and then seeing their happy faces. Sinterklaas was really good to me this year as well:
- a dark purple candle
- 2 black candles
- 4 black bowls for the black dinner-set I’m getting together for the time I’m living on my own
- 2 black fantasy pantyhose
- 2 black picture frames
- a chocolate letter, the ‘H’ of course (also typical for Sinterklaas I guess)
- a beautiful Celtic necklace
- a leather diary for 2005
- black gloves
- Dove face wash
- Passoa
- For the money we get from my grandmother every year I had already bought the Master & Commander S.E. DVD and the Legacy of the Drow series by R.A. Salvatore
- For the biggest present we get from my parents that we can choose ourselves I’m getting the Return of the King Special Edition DVD-box, which should arrive next week.

I’m really, really pleased with all my presents. Thankfully, my parents have learned through the years that if they buy me anything, black is always the right color. And now I’m anxiously waiting for the RotK DVD-box. Because I’m anticipating I won’t be able to restrain myself from watching all the extra’s and stuff I’m going to spend extra time on my study this week, so I can watch the material on the DVD-box next week without feeling guilty.


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