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Calvin, meet Sinterklaas

In our household a strong Dutch background combined with a keen desire to separate the commercialism of American Christmas from the CalvinMeetSinterklaas1.jpgreligious significance of that day to bring us the annual celebration of St. Nicholas Day.  In years to come we plan to teach Calvin about the sainted bishop from the fourth century who is celebrated annually on December 6th for his many good works and his kindness to others, and we hope to help him understand the connection between this kindly religious man and the jovial fictitious character who gives the commercial tradition of Christmas it's white haired, red clad mascot.  Our hope is that it will help him CalvinMeetSinterklaas2.jpgunderstand the meaning of giving during this festive season, and tonight he welcomed the tradition with his usual enthusiasm.  Yes, we realize that we are one, if not two, days behind schedule, but since Calvin is as yet unaware of the religious calendar we moved our celebration to a Friday night so that his grandparents would be better able to join us.  He spent the entire day, when he wasn't napping, that is, helping is mother clean and prepare the food and the house, and he spent his entire evening CalvinMeetSinterklaas3.jpgentertaining his four doting grandparents (it's a hard job, but someone's got to do it).  His paternal grandmother, who even spent a portion of a school year in The Netherlands, brought with her not only memories, but also several traditional props and present to add a true feeling of tradition and festivity to the air.  We snacked on Dutch cheeses and Dutch beer, and ate pork and Dutch potatoes for dinner.  Before dinner we were visited by the spirit of Sinterklaas in the form of trinkets accompanied by poems, and followed by chocolate letters spelling our initials.  The evening was truly one to be treasured, and we could not have asked for Calvin to have received a better introduction to this wonderful holiday.

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Reader Comments (1)

Hey Cortney! I think it's really cool that you celebrate the Dutch holiday with Calvin. My dh was born in Holland and came to Canada when he was 13. I wish we celebrated more of those traditions. My kids do get to enjoy the chocolate letters and also the kruidnoten but that's about it. Good for you for keeping the tradtions alive.
PS I love the wooden shoes. My kids both love thumping through the house in them.
December 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterShannon (mcturtle)

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