There’s always this festive feeling lingering about. It is usually the time of the year to slack just that little bit, and take in all the holiday mood for all that festive and holiday-ish feeling I could get. It’s nice.
In this part of the world, there is no escaping that festive feeling with Sintaklass making its grand entrance in the first week of December on the 5th. While not everyone celebrates or condones the celebration of Sintaklass, there were a lot of buzz around it.
It’s like the Dutch annual viral infection of sugar and presents overload. Everyone catches the bug. Everyone talks about it, the media fuels it and everywhere you go will be inundated by the spirit of it.
In the office, the Dutch hospitality continues on. Not only was I greeted by a gift on my desk one morning (like everyone else), they also generously offered parents to claim for the gift which we could buy for our own kids. The caveat: we need to bring our children to the special Sintaklass party for which they had organised for the employees.
And so we did and the kids had a blast eating rubbish, being entertained by some Dutch Kids TV presenters and getting presents from “Sintaklass” (ahem!)
The fun did not end there.
On the home front, the kids’ Oma and Opa went pretty elaborate with the celebration that started from “Zwarte Piete” ringing the doorbell and only to disappear before anyone could open the door.
The kids were then greeted with sacks of presents that had suddenly appeared all over the front yard. Funny how that all happened…Then the fun of opening presents, after presents, after presents began. Everyone got something.
The gifts, in my opinion, could comfortably tie them over for at least 5 more birthdays. But don’t tell that to my mother-in-law; she would not have that. ;p
As with tradition, each gift should be accompanied by a written poem which should be read out loud. The only person who did write any poem at all was Silver Bullet and he did this for his parents, the kids and me. Spud read the entire poem by herself!
For the kids, it’s a load of fun and from now on, a part of their Dutch culture. For us parents, it’s shelling monopoly money to buy unnecessary nice gifts to fuel the economy. For the many grandparents, it is a great another excuse to pamper their grand kids with spoils than they would already have.
For me, it was a fun experience. I remember Silver Bullet and I used to do something like this during Christmas a long time back. We called it the Tacky Christmas where we were only allowed to buy presents that are tacky but useful. The rule is not to overspend for we must only work with a small budget with a minimum number of gifts. It was fun!
I can’t remember why we stopped doing it. I suspect it was probably because we started having kids and did not have time to shop for anything anymore.
With Sintaklass, I bet this is something we’ll be doing for a long time to come; or at least till the kids realise that Sintaklass has nothing to do with their presents.
The next one will be scheduled for 25th. Not that we celebrate Christmas in the religious ways, and whether we are in Singapore, Thailand and now the Netherlands, gifting during this time of the year will always be in our DNA. I just don’t know if I have the capacity to follow-through this year.
Speaking of gifting, we’ve been blessed by a little unexpected package that came from our next door neighbour in Bavaria a few days ago.
Christina, one of my new blogger friend behind Just Blue Dutch has taken the time to not only make but hand-written a card and then mail it! How completely awesome is that, right?!
Thank you Christina for such a thoughtful gift. It was a wonderful surprise, indeed.
It certainly is looking like fun and delight will be in tow. What can I say, it’s really just December in the air. So mote it shall be!