Sinterklaas Nog Een Keer

Today was, once again, the Sinterklaas celebration for the family.  We all gather at the home of an aunt and uncle (there must be 50 of us) and wait for the Sint to come visit.

But before he arrives, the adults are talking together and the kids are playing together.

(As a knitting aside, see the girl above?  See her hat?  She wears that hat all the time and it’s getting really worn out.  She asked me if I would knit her a hat.  I agreed, mainly because she’s a really sweet kid, and also because she’s the first person in the family to ask me to make her something.  How could I refuse?  And it’s only a hat.  Anyway, I told her I was fully booked until the end of January but I would send her some photos of hats for her to decide what she wants.  Leuk.)

Eventually, Sint and the Piets arrived in their Sint-mobile in front of the house.  The kids were all at the window waiting.

We sing him in, and sing him back out again.  Every kid gets to talk to the Sint, one by one.

Kids sit in rapt attention, waiting for their turn.

Every kid also gets a present from the Sint’s sack.  Some “kids” find the bubble wrap far more interesting than any actual gift.

After Sinterklaas leaves, the adults play the dubblesteen game.  Every person had to bring a small present they had bought AND a present from op zolder (from the attic).  We rolled the big die and passed around packages and in the end everyone ended up with something.  We were lucky this year – we only brought chocolate and cookies home!  It’s kind of a game of less is more.  It’s a big joke to role a 1 and have to give away one of your wonderful gifts.  I was just happy we didn’t have to bring home a trash can printed with delft blue tile images, or a beige tea set.  Phew!

It’s always gezellig at these events and I always enjoy it.  I’ve only been here 7 years, but in those years I’ve watched these kids grow up (so quickly!) and new babies arrive.  I begin to feel part of the family.

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