Saint Nic is back in the country

Dear Bloggers,

The steamship was again recently reported in the Dutch waters.
And it would not be long before Saint Nicholas will again set foot in our little country.
This morning at 06:30 my youngest daughter was waking me up.
Asking if she could go downstairs to have breakfast.

I mumbled: “Yeah, yeah that's fine.” All of a sudden I realize that she is up so early because Saint Nicholas is arriving today.
She is of course afraid that she will mis it.
When I am coming downstairs the television is on and she is sitting in front of it.
I explain to her that we have plenty of time to eat breakfast as the live broadcast will start at noon.
She looks at me like I am a lunatic, but today I am saved by the morning news programme.
One of their subjects is as you can guess the arrival of Saint Nicholas in the Netherlands today.

It is not much that she is eating this morning, there are so many things going on in her head.
Finally the clock is telling the right time and the rest of the family got out of bed as well.
When the show starts they start with singing on of the typical Saint Nicholas songs and of course everyone is singing along, but it is not that loud yet.
Fully excited she is coming to me and says: Luckely the storm has not given too many problems, dad.
Earlier this week the television had a special report on the steamboat that they were in a very bad storm. (even some of the presents went overboard.)

As the hosts are suggesting to sing another song my kids are singing full power, the tension has made way for happines.
There is nothing nicer then seeing these little happy faces.
It is still a side to a lovely and very old tradition which fortunately has not lost to the ever-popular Santa Claus in other countries.
Yet as the Saint cannot run away no longer from the commercial part, but it's not as crazy as what they do in England or the United States for example.
In most shops there, you are bombarded with Christmas offers and a lot of you don't really need stuff.
There are even free bustrips organized for the older people to get them to the shops as they are a great target.
In itself there is nothing wrong with the fact of free transport for pensioners, but specially those people are very susceptible to the so-called bargains.

I come with some regularity in a mall.
And when I compare the goods with the prices elsewhere, I inwardly need to laugh.
As the bargains are not really bargains.
I think it is a nice time anyway, the dark evenings when you go shopping gifts have a certain mistical atmosphere.

Even that they are a bit afraid of the fact that they are coming at night to fill their shoe with a small gift or some chocolate.
Many parents have to lie to their kids again.

I played once the role of the holy man, and the funny thing is once all make up and accessories have been placed, the role of Saint Nicholas is born.
What I also found a very nice experience that is both large and small in his own way, the magic of this man is there again a great experience.
Cars that you come across full of adults, flashing its lights, and drive past you all happily waving to you.
This is pure encouragement to play this very special role in a hot suit with an awkward mustache and beard.
I think that he has still many years to visit our country and the tradition will be kept alive.
Allthough our little country is becoming more multicultural it is still a marvelous feast.

I hope that everyone will have a nice "Sinterklaasfeest" or Christmas, what ever it will be in your case make sure that the gifts are coming from the heart and not because of material matters.

The Old Sailor,


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