Today is the 5th of December which is a HUGE day for kids in Holland. Tradition has it that Sinta Klaas comes and delivers presents today. The Sint lives in Madrid, Spain and on the second Saturday of November he travels from Spain on a boat with his white horse and merry helpers called ‘Zwarte Pieten’ (Black Pete) to a harbour in Holland. He has kept a big book of all those kids that have been naughty or nice and will deliver small presents randomly to their shoes until the 5th of December. On this day he will ring the doorbell and leave a sack of presents at the door for the kids.
It looks a little like this:
Um WTF? You say ? yes my same reaction when I saw it.
The Dutch argue this tradition has been around for ages and kids don’t understand racism and besides Pete is just black from Chimney soot. Since I have lived here I gone from staunch opposition to Black Peter to probably celebrating the whole Sint thing with my baby next year.
2 reasons why I will celebrate this next year, I love Christmas and traditions and this is how it happens here. The second is that the Dutch are changing black Pete to be blue or purple and I can see kids just love the fact they receive sweets from him and don’t think much more than that.
I’m choosing not to celebrate it this year and I’m trying to justify to myself that this is ok. I have a small voice telling me I should go and celebrate, it’s family time, I’m going to be a Mum soon so I will need to carry on this tradition. On the other hand I have a list of reasons to use the 8 month pregnant get out of anything card.
- My husband is working and therefore I would be on my own with the in–laws.
- They speak a dialect of Dutch I don’t understand.
- I’ll have to go out and hurry and buy 10 Sinta Klaas gifts today. (small chocolate letters and things for a game)
- Gourmet dinner. No that’s not a traditional Christmas dinner, it’s a popular Dutch dinner where you cook bits of meat on a BBQ plate in the middle of the table, for hours. A bit like a Korean BBQ. When you come home you stink of an industrial kitchen and you’ll be washing that fat smell off your hair and clothes for a week.
Last night we went to friends for dinner who also provided Gourmet. Although we had a fantastic time I woke up with pregnancy insomnia at 4am and cursed the fact I have eaten too much meat before bed time. Again. I don’t think I can do it all over again tonight.
I’m sorry but I’m going to be a scrooge today, I’m going to eat well, exercise and be healthy, I think that is the best gift for my unborn child this Christmas!