Saturday, December 05, 2009


We celebrated Sinterklaasavond (Sinterklaas Evening) tonight. I'm not the most knowledgable on the subject, but here's what I understand about Sinterklaas traditions:

Sinterklaas arrives from Spain some time in mid-November. He comes by steamboat. Some time between his arrival and December 5th (Sinterklaasavond) children can put their shoes out at night. Sinterklaas or one of his helpers, Zwarte Pieten (Black Pete's), put little candies and toys in the shoes for the children to find in the morning. Jimmy and Glade put their shoes out a few days ago and received a little toy car and some candy (leftovers from their Halloween bag...shhh, don't tell!).

According to Wikipedia, "Children are told that Black Pete enters the house through the chimney, which also explains his black face and hands, and will leave a bundle of sticks ("roe") or a small bag of salt in the shoe instead of candy if the child has been bad. If they have been really bad, Black Pete may take them back to Spain in his sack, a tradition now frowned upon under the influence of modern child psychology." :)

On the evening of December 5th everyone gathers and sings Sinterklaas songs while the children wait for their package of gifts to be delivered to their house by Sint and Piet. Below is a video of our boys from tonight. Jimmy knew Sinterklaas would be ringing the door soon and was so excited when he finally heard it!

I'm sure there's much more to the December 5th tradition, but that's my take on it all! I believe most people here then leave Christmas as a time for family. The 25th I think is when they visit with family and the 26th (Second Christmas Day) is for visiting friends. Most of the gift giving is done on Sinterklaas day instead of Christmas.

Okay, what did I leave out? Anyone know more about Sinterklaas or need to correct me? :)

P.S. Lots of contractions going on here, but trying to not get my hopes up and also not go insane. ONE week left.

I raked 3 large trashbags of wet leaves hoping to jumpstart my labor...nope.

And did scrubbing the floor over and over work...nope.

What about walking up and down stairs...nope.

Vacuuming the house...nope.

Scrubbing bathrooms...nope.

Lying on the couch all day long...nope, that one didn't work either!

And I am NOT trying castor oil!

Oh I'm so ready, why isn't she? :)

(Ummm, okay, quick update...I've now had 6 intense contractions each 5 minutes apart...could this be the real thing? You'd think after 2 births I would know. It's after midnight and I should go to bed but I have a feeling I may not be sleeping much tonight, whether she comes or not.)


Katie said...

ERIKA!!! I'm DYING here!!! Was it the real thing??? GOOD LUCK!!

Rob and Jill said...

Sooooo FUN! I love Sinterklaas! Your boys are so cute- so excited. I spent one Sinterklaas on a plane heading to Holland, and one in Belgium, where we didn't really get into it (it's on the 6th there). I've heard of people writing silly poems to go on the gifts. Oh, and big chocolate letters. Gotta love threatening kids with being hauled away to Spain in a sack, as a slave!

Yeah! Do you have a baby yet?!!! I hope it all goes well.

Chris said...

Your boys are studs!