Christmas is just around the corner! | Undutchables

Christmas is just around the corner!

Categorie: Cultural

The snowfall, the beautiful lights, the cheerful music. Do you know what it’s beginning to look a lot like ??? Christmas!!

It seems like for us here in the Netherlands Christmas came early, with snow making its presence two weeks before Christmas. Songs bring to life the beauty of having snow on Christmas, with a lot of people longing for a white Christmas. For many, snow is synonymous with Christmas. There is something magical about seeing streets and buildings covered with a white blanket of snow.

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For the places on earth where that is geographically not possible, people go out of their way to make ‘snow’ happen by buying snow cans and decorating their trees and windows with what they believe is a healthy dose of snow. When it comes down to it, it is about the feeling it gives us, even if it comes in a can. And without a doubt the feeling of having snow on Christmas, even if it’s pseudo snow, is a feeling of utter bliss.

Speaking of bliss, what about those Yuletide carols. Christmas seems like one of the little occasions where the whole world comes together, be it as it may for religious reasons, family or just a time in the year where we can all forget about our problems. And Christmas carols have a lot to do with it. They give us a sense of joy, love and unity.

Here in the Netherlands, the celebration of Christmas is getting more and more common. Of course we can’t compare it with the famous Dutch celebration Sinterklaas on the 5th of December. To not get the two mixed up, St Nicholaas (Sinterklaas) is the Turkish bearded man on his gray horse whereas the other bearded fellow that climbs down the chimney is Santa Claus. Both men wear a red suit and have helpers who reward the good children, but punish the naughty. These similarities are oddly uncanny. However, the reason for this is that the Santa we know grew out of traditions surrounding Sinterklaas, and therefore the striking resemblance. To avoid confusion, Dutch people call Santa the “Kerstman”. In comparison to the festivities and traditions on the 5th of December such as the pakjesavond, Dutch poems, treasure hunt games and the many different sweets, Christmas day is still a much quieter day in the Netherlands. Dutch people usually celebrate this holiday with a Church service and a Christmas meal with family and friends.

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Decorations are also very integral to the Christmas celebrations with a lot of Dutch homes having a Christmas tree along with other Christmas decorations. Right after the departure of Sinterklaas on the 6th of December, shops quickly switch their merchandise to accommodate the Christmas celebrations. In the different shops one can see the variety of Christmas ornaments that later give life to the Dutch homes in the dark and cold December days.

Outside, streets are decorated with Christmas lights and Christmas carols are heard all around town. If that didn’t give it away, the crowd of people all scrambling to buy presents in time for the big day should. We are all excited for the day that’s around the corner.

With all that said, there’s only one thing left to say. We wish you all a Merry Christmas!

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