The eve of December 5th. An exciting night around here I'll tell ya! My Mother who was born in the Netherlands, carried over the tradition of Sinterklaas when my brother and I were growing up. For those of you who are not familiar with Sinterklaas, well here he is ....
Sinterklaas visits good little Dutch boys and girls on the eve of December 5th and brings them ....
goodies! Candy and fruit is the norm and maybe a few coins. Being that it was such fun and helped to pacify us until Christmas Eve, I carried on the tradition with my son when he was little.
Each December 5th, Lucas would put his wooden shoes (yes, we each have our own pair of wooden shoes) by the door with a carrot gently placed inside (for Sinterklaas' white horse of course), hoping to find something in them in the morning of the 6th. If he had been naughty that year, he knew that he could expect a lump of coal (from Sinterklaas' helper Black Peter instead).
Now Black Peter must have made quite the impression on my Mother when she was a child as she still recalls hiding behind her Mother's skirt when Black Peter and Sinterklaas rode by in the parade back in the old country. Apparently Black Peter was black from dirty chimneys that he was expected to slide down when delivering the lumps of coal to the bad children each year.
So my brother and I and now my son must all be pretty good as none of us ever received that lump of coal. What fun it was! Even though we are older, all of us still find wrapped under the Christmas tree each year one of these ....
the favored chocolate letter of our first names. These letters have to be the BEST chocolate I have ever tasted! Some years, I even steal hubby's "B" and eat it!!! Now this year, Sarah will find wrapped under the tree her first Dutch chocolate letter .... and so the tradition will continue.
Do you have any fun or different holiday traditions in your family? Ones that are carried over from years past ... maybe from before you were even born? I would love to hear about them.
Let's hope no one wakes to a lump of coal in the morning! Remember to give your loved ones a hug.