Christmas Day 2008

This year I celebrated my first cold Christmas! It was not quite a white Christmas, but it was still pretty damn cold!

The Dutch don’t normally celebrate on the 25th, as their main holiday is more the Sinterklaas on the 5th. But over time it does seem that they are embracing the holiday more and more. Children are usually happy as they often get presents on both Sinterklaas and Christmas. Fem’s folks don’t normally celebrate it, so they were kind enough to provide some presents for us so I could get something on Christmas morning.

The xmas tree The Pressies we had

I was glad with what Fem and I received and Fem’s parents really liked the Redcliffe Calendar given to them by my parents.

Me with my gifts Fems parents with the calendar Fem with her gifts

With the presents done it was on to one of the main events surrounding Christmas. The feasting!

Last year Fem and I were with Kasia’s Polish parents in Melbourne and we had a massive feed down there. Up here in Holland it’s no different. This leads me to conclude that no matter where you are in the world: On Christmas day you will get a massive feed!

We first has a massive Christmas lunch! All different types of bread with a large variety of toppings.

The lunch

The Dinner


Then after a relaxing afternoon we moved onto a Christmas dinner!

This is a tradition in a lot of Dutch households. Basically you have a massive meat tray with lots of small cuts of different meat. You then grill them yourselves on the big grill in the middle of the table. All this is topped off with plenty of mayonnaise covered fries and capsicums and garlic breads (left over from lunch).

It was a massive feast, and since we had to cook the meat ourselves. It took at least 2 hours to go through. Which meant plenty of chatting and drinking and eating.  As you can see from Auke’s belly below, we all had plenty to eat.

My belly was so full that night. It was clearly one of the largest meals I had all year! and it was great!








Me with the beer Auke's belly aftermath Nice shot of Fem

Sinterklaas again!

Last night was the 5th of December here. This is where Sinterklaas is celebrated in the homes in the Netherlands. You could think of the the evening of the 5th of December as being the same as the morning of the 25th of December in Australia.

The table of goodies before we started Fem with her cat Fem's mum feeding the cat

The only main difference I noted was that the presents were not under a tree, but they were in a bag (Sinterklaas’s bag!) that was brought down from upstairs when the time was right. So after watching some very important shows on TV (Dutch soaps), Fem and her mum went upstairs to bring down the bag.

The cat amazed at how awesome the 50D is Fem with the bag!

We then had drinks and yummy nibbiles (including Fem’s delicious apple turnovers) on the table while Auke, handed out the presents. The presents were unwrapped one at a time so everyone can see your reaction and enjoyment. I was very happy and surprised with what I received. This included:

  • A book called The Undutchables which is an accurate and humorous take on life in the Netherlands.
  • A soft bicycle seat cover to help my not yet fully formed biker’s bum.
  • A sample of local Waalwijk beers and liqueurs.
  • A giant M in rich milk chocolate. Yum!

After the unwrapping The gifts I received

It is Dutch tradition to give small poems along with the gifts on Sinterklaas. Fem and her parents got their Dutch poems first, and with my final present I got my poem as well.

I have attached a copy of it below as I thought it was very sweet and well done!

The poem I got