Vol verwachting klopt ons hart…

Our hearts beat in eager anticipation…of Sinterklaas!

Click here to go straight to English

Ik ben dol op Sinterklaas! Niet alleen op de goedheiligman zelf, maar vooral op het spannende kinderfeest met kadootjes, snoep, en gedichten. Ik vind het veel leuker dan Kerst. Om een beetje in de sfeer te komen heb ik mijn header aangepast en voorzien van kruidnootjes, een chocoladeletter en fondantletters (en de rekwisieten vervolgens opgesmikkeld).

Kadotip
Wist je dat er Inklingo-kadobonnen zijn? Leuk voor op je verlanglijstje of om kado te geven aan een quilter. (Je kunt ze overigens ook aan Linda Franz’ Quilted Diamonds besteden). Dit is ook een handige omweg voor als je iets wilt bestellen van www.inklingo.com maar zelf niet over een credit card beschikt. Geef dan geld aan iemand met een credit card om voor jou een Inklingo kadobon te bestellen. Je kunt de kadobonnen bestellen voor elk gewenst bedrag in US dollars, en hij wordt per e-mail verzonden, dus je hebt hem snel. Je kunt kadobonnen op naam van de gever krijgen, maar ook anoniem, dus helemaal in de Sinterklaasgedachte. Sommige mensen vinden kadobonnen een flauw kado, maar ik houd wel van een goedgekozen kadobon. Ik vind het een echt kado, mét de voorpret van het uitzoeken voor de ontvanger. (Ik hoop dat Sinterklaas dit leest :-)).

XXX Anneke

English

 
 

Inklingo kadobon - Inklingo gift certificate

 

It is that special time of year. Sinterklaas Eve is drawing near…In the Netherlands it is the traditional present giving occasion, like Christmas is in many other countries. I love Sinterklaas! Not just the man himself, but especially the exciting children’s feast with present, traditional candy and verses. I much prefer it to Christmas. To get into the spirit I have adorned my header image with traditional Sinterklaas candy: a chocolate letter, kruidnootjes (like tiny ginger bread cookies), and fondant letters (and afterwards ate the props).

Holiday tip
Did you know there are Inklingo /Quilted Diamonds gift certificates? You can put them on your own wish list or give them to a quilter. You can also use them as a workaround in case you want to order something from www.inklingo.com but don’t have a credit card. Give your money to someone with a credit card to buy a gift certificate for you. Gift certificates are available in any amount in US dollars, and it is sent to you by e-mail, so you will have it very quickly. The name of the donor can be on the certificate, or they can be made anonymously. Some people don’t like (to give) gift certificates, but I like a well chosen gift certificate. To me it is a real present, with all the joyful anticipation of choosing for the recipient. (I hope Sinterklaas reads this ;-))

More about Sinterklaas
Nowadays many people do give presents at Christmas, mainly because they think Sinterklaas is too much trouble. You can’t just wrap a gift and put it under a tree. No, you have to make a verse to go with it, or wrap it in a crafty way, like making the present into a paper Sinterklaas doll. The present is given out of the name of Sinterklaas, so effectively anonymous. This gives you the chance to friendly mock the recipient with the present, the verse and the wrapping.

Luckily, you don’t have to do this for every one. Most groups that celebrate Sinterklaas together, draw tickets with names (and wish lists) written inside. You can do this electronically nowadays. That saves you the trouble of doing it over and over again, when someone draws his own name. (Usually the last person to take a ticket :-)). You only have to shop and craft for the one person on your ticket, and often a small budget for the present is agreed. So it is very much about being creative. You have to think of a good gift inside the budget, and preferably make a fun verse, that the recipient has to read out loud to everyone, before opening the package. In my family everyone, even most in-laws, are really good at making verses, so that was always great fun (and a very long evening!). Now that all my siblings have children, the family has grown too big to celebrate it with three generations together, if we don’t want it to last until the following morning.

Since so much candy is involved, most families have a heavy meal on Saint Nicholas Eve, something you know the children will love, in the hope they’ll go easy on the candy. Afterwards, when the curtains are drawn and a cd with Sinterklaas songs is on, the fun begins. If there are small children who still believe Sinterklaas really exists, families usually arrange for someone to knock heavily on the windows or the door. When the children jump up from their seats, a mysterious black gloved hand comes through a door and throws special ‘throwing candy’ (the kruidnootjes from the header image, mixed with other candy) around the room. When everyone jumps to the candy, somebody puts a large bag filled with presents in the hallway or on the doorstep.

Usually the smallest kid gets to pick a present, and give it to the person whose name is written on it. She or he then reads the verse aloud and unwraps. Next the first recipient picks the second present. Etc. It is tradition that everyone (even if you have not been very good in the past year) receives a chocolate letter, the first letter of your name. Exceptions are made for Isabel, Ivan and Irma if they are fond of chocolate :-). Then it can be the first letter of their last name, an M for Mom, D for Dad, S from Sinterklaas, or something else. To receive a Q for Quilter is not very likely, Q’s, X’s and Z’s are hard to find.

Well, wherever you are, and whatever you are celebrating, I wish you lots of chocolate!

XXX Anneke

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