School for December is together with my sister and two of her kids. I teach a lesson on Mondays, and Beth teaches a lesson on Wednesdays. We are teaching about the Christmas celebrations of diferent countries. each day is a different country.
Vrolijk Kerstfeest! (Merry Christmas)
I have a sweet friend that lives in the Netherlands and she sent me this email with some wonderful information on how she celebrates Christmas. I was going to edit it for you but the entire email is great…
Christmas celebrations in the Netherlands begin on the last Saturday of November, when Saint Nicholas arrives via steam ship from Spain. With its long coastlines and flowing rivers, the Netherlands has long been a country of sailors. The link with the sea is evident through the countries dedication to Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors.
In the Netherlands, Saint Nicholas (nicknamed Sinterklaas) is shown as a tall, slender man wearing a red bishop’s robe and tall bishop’s hat. He carries a bishop’s miter and rides a white horse. His helper, Black Peter, who is dressed with puffed velvet breeches, walks alongside Saint Nicholas his face covered in soot. . Dutch children were told many centuries ago he was the devil, whom Saint Nicholas had captured and made his servant.
Children in the Netherlands believe that Saint Nicholas arrives on December 5th (the eve of his saint day) along with Black Peter. Black Peter would jump from roof to roof, sliding up and down chimneys, leaving gifts in the little wooden shoes left by the hearth. Children would fill their shoes with hay and carrots for Saint Nicholas’s horse . They will sing songs near the chimney and in the morning the carrots will be displaced with a small edible present. Often a mouse or another figure made of chocolate or marzipan. Then on December 5 the presents will arrive. Often they will be left on the doorstep, the bell will be rung and a parent (often mom because dad plays Sinterklaas) brings in the presents and the fun begins.
The Sinterklaas day is celebrated till the children are old enough to participate in the fun of making fun presents etc. Then there are often naughty poems included, or funny poems. And the presents are wrapped in the most outrageous wrappings. Sometimes a castle is made or any other fun idea that you can think of.
A picture of the REAL Sinterklaas (;)) Well he plays Sinterklaas for many years now, appears on tv etc. So he now is the official Sinterklaas.
Christmas is celebrated on December 25 and 26. (we have 2 Christmas days) Dec. 25 is often spent with family around the tree, with good food and fun, laughter, games etc. December 26 is a day of rest, lol. People are tired and ate too much the previous day 😉
We have a tree and other decorations just as in the USA. Maybe not as big etc. but still wonderful And the outside is decorated too, with a tree, lights, santa’s etc. NO elves they are not really known here. Mostly Santa with reindeer.
Hugs from Marian
so for our school, I briefly told the kids what Marian said in her email. I gave each of them a small picture of Sinterklass to use in their MLB which Felicity was very excited about.
for lunch I made homeade bread…
which we used for making sandwiches that had cheese and meat, jam, or hazelnut spread.
for dessert we made traditional letter cookies (recipe HERE) for each member of our families.
for a craft, we had the kids each paint a tiny wooden shoe.
thank you Marian! we had a great time learning about your country!