July 20, 2012
Words: Christmas, Easter, holiday, sport, radio
Remembering Christmas is kind of very hard to me. My parents never went to church while I was a kid. I learned about Christmas in school and Sunday school.
I can remember the last December in the Netherlands before we migrated to South Africa. I was only a girl of nearly six at that time. I remember that I attended a Kindergarten . It had this huge sandpit in the middle of the school. It was covered by a roof. The classrooms surrounded this sandpit.
On December the sixth, I remember that I had to go to school and we children had to wait for St Nicolaas and Swarte Piet. I can remember that we were all supposed to behave very well otherwise Swarte Piet would pick you up and put you in his bag. I could see St Nicolaas arriving through my classroom window. I still have this clear picture of him in my mind ,that is all I remember.
In South Africa my mother used to decorate the lounge with some pine tree leaves and some cotton wool for snow. We never really had a tree. Later years I bought us a small Christmas tree and decorated it. There were always small parcels, one for each one. When I started working we made a bigger issue of Christmas.
When my son was still a toddler we would have Christmas with his grandparents at times. I can remember one year we had Christmas on our own and my son dressed himself as father Christmas. He put on a red track suit, put some cotton wool around his chin and an old brown beany on his head. He enjoyed handing out the gift .
I looked up some information about Saint Nicolas:
The tradition of Saint Nicholas Day, usually on 6 December ( [O.S. 19 December (in most Orthodox countries)], is a festival for children in many countries in Europe related to surviving legends of the saint, and particularly his reputation as a bringer of gifts. The American Santa Claus, as well as the Anglo-Canadian and British Father Christmas, derive from these legends. “Santa Claus” is itself derived in part from the Dutch Sinterklaas
In the Netherlands and Belgium, Saint Nicholas’ Eve (5 December) is the primary occasion for gift-giving, when his reputed birthday is celebrated.
In recent years, Christmas (along with Santa Claus) has been pushed by shopkeepers as another gift-giving festival, with some success; although, especially for young children, Saint Nicholas’ Eve is still much more important than Christmas. The rise of Father Christmas (known in Dutch as de Kerstman) is often cited as an example of globalisation and Americanisation.
My scrap-book page with my son as Father Christmas.
We did not do any extra writing today.
There were very good descriptions and a lot to discuss.