No presents on Christmas Eve

Veröffentlicht auf von André

Christmas in the Netherlands does not really take place in the sense in which British, Americans, French or Germans know it. Certainly, the Dutch know and celebrate on Christmas Day, the more religious naturally hold it to be the day of the birth of the Christ. However, among those for whom Christmas is not primarily a religous celebration but more an occasion to get the family around and to have a great party, the idea of Christmas is not that strongly anchored. 
Thus, when asking a Dutch friend in mid-december if he had already bought his Christmas presents, he just laughed at me and told me that he had already handed them over to their destinators. When it comes to presents, December 6th is the sacred day. The celebration of "Sinterklaas" (not Santa, but St. Nicolas) is the day that assembles families and makes presents change hands. Not in socks, not under a tree, no, Dutch presents are to be found in a "sack", as my friend told me. While the children unwrap their new things, the celebration is also infested with a good deal of  traditional Sinterklaas songs by Dutch child choirs. 
However, in Europe especially the Netherlands are receptive for the influence that sweeps to the old world from America. As you walk over the Christmas market in Maastricht, the songs you hear are the "Jingle Bell Rock", "Santa Baby" and  "Last Christmas", instead of the traditional songs you might expect. Likewise, the decoration is larger-than-life plastic Santa-Clauses and blue (!) Christmas trees everywhere. And thus, also the celebration of Christmas has come to the Netherlands in a different form. Now, people will also meet on Chsritmas Eve or Christmas day to have a festive meal together and to get the family around. 
When itcomes to vacation, however, the Dutch go with the European current. Presents though they might get on the 6th of December, Christmas break for students and employees does not come till the 24th.

Veröffentlicht in Life

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