Only A few months left and I’m going to Holland for a few weeks. I can’t wait. I haven’t been back in 2 years, so I think it’s way past due to pay my family a visit. The last time I went, we didn’t tell my grandparents, so I just showed up at their door. It was great to see them so excited to have me back for a while. I can’t wait to give everyone a big hug 🙂
I’m going in December for Christmas and New years. We celebrate Christmas, like y’all do over here in the states, but instead of having Christmas eve, we have 2 whole Christmas days. I guess that helps couples split the holidays up to visit both families each days, instead of having to choose only one side. You’re probably thinking, I would never make 2 long trips like that within 2 days… Well I’ve noticed that here, most people’s families live hours away from each other, sometimes in different states.. In Holland, it doesn’t matter where your family lives, you can always get there in a short time, since you can drive through the whole country in just 3 hours.
On Christmas day, we usually eat like this
It makes things really easy, because everyone puts their choice of meat on the little grill. Your basically your own cook.
On the second Christmas day, in my family our tradition has been to eat at my aunt and uncles house. We eat there with the whole family at one huge table. Since my cousin is a chef at a really nice restaurant in Holland, she usually does the cooking. It always tastes incredible. She splits the meals up in little courses, so we’ll all sit at the table for a few hours just drinking wine and catching up.
We also have a different kind of Christmas, which is celebrated on December the 5th. Its called “Sinterklaas.” Its an old man with a white beard too, but he doesn’t have a slee or reindeer… he rides a white horse. The story is that he walks on the roofs at night and his helpers (he needs helpers cause he is old) go down the chimney and place the presents in the childrens shoes. The night before, the children will put one shoe in front of the fireplace and sing songs together.
There has been a lot of controversy from the black people that live in Holland, that our traditional Sinterklaas is racist, because his helpers are black. To me this is a bunch of bull, because the helpers aren’t really the colored race, the helpers are black because they have gone through the chimney so many times.
When Sinterklaas comes into the country in November, there are huge festivals everywhere to welcome him into the country. He comes in on a boat, and the helpers throw candy to the kids. When I was about 14, me and a friend both played helpers. It was so fun, all the kids were cheering for us and it felt like we were celebrities. It’s just a really fun tradition. 🙂