Article by Betty Wangsawidjaja
Sinterklaas kapoentje, gooi wat in mijn schoentje, breng wat in mijn laarsje, dank je Sinterklaasje!
If you’re living long enough in the Netherlands and have kids (like us) then you probably know this song by heart now. Our daughter sings this song EVERY DAY since early November until 5th December then she changes tune to Jingle Bells ☺
Sinterklaas is a very Dutch character loved by children and adults alike. His annual arrival by boat followed by a parade on his horse Amerigo, and the traditional festivities that come with it are a real treat. Once he’s in town, children lay out their shoes before bedtime, along with carrot for the horse, hoping that there will be gift left there by morning. The good kids are usually rewarded with chocolate letters, pepernoten and marzipan while the naughty ones anxiously wait to see if they’ve been given coal, again!
Our daughter follows this tradition and her school usually has Sinterklaas coming to greet the children but with so many of them in school nobody gets special attention. So we were very happy when TIC decided to have a personalised Sinterklaas party on 3rd December with each child given one-on-one moment with him.
It was fun to see the children being amazed by how much Sinterklaas know about them, their hobbies, their achievements, and of course their naughty moments. It was pure joy to see their happy faces when they opened their presents together. The adults have a good time too. We were busy checking out cards filled with Christmas traditions around the world while keeping ourselves warm with wine and hot chocolate. Needless to say this is an event worth repeating by TIC!