Sinterklaas memories from Eltje and Geesjen Doddema

If you remember I had mentioned that I had emailed several relatives about their Sinterklaas memories ie. what made it important to them. Geesjen Doddema responded with this and I’ll just paste the whole email here:

Hello Bernard,

Sinterklaas was: 1 week before the big day we were allowed to put a shoe next to the stove, just before we went to bed. In the shoe, we put something for the (grey) horse of Sinterklaas, for example an apple, or a carrot, or a head of curly kail. And ofcourse the horse got some water in a bowl. Then you had to sing a nice Sinterklaas-song and go to bed, without the usual complaining or dawdling.

Sinterklaas was riding on his horse over the rooftops, and Zwarte Piet climbed down the chimney to put something in your shoe, and take the food for the horse. The next morning you found something in your shoe, a little chocolate animal, or a small present. And you had to be on your best behaviour all the time, because Zwarte Piet was listening through the chimney wther you were a nice boy or girl. Worst case scenario (according to the grown ups) was: if you behaved badly, Zwarte Piet would put you in his bag, and take you away from your parents, onto the steamship to Spain.

On the evening of the 5th you had to sing all the Sinterklaas-songs you knew and hope for a really big present. That evening we became hot chocolate with “speculaaskoekjes”, or a “speculaaspop”, or gingerbread or ginger-nuts. The week before Sinterklaas, we ate ofcourse hotchpotch of curly kail, or “hete bliksem” which is a hotchpotch of potatoes, carrots and onions. Pure coincidence that you did that in your shoe the day before!

(You will have to ask your father what speculaaskoekjes are, I could not find that in my dictionary).

I hope this is the sort of story you were looking for.

Met vriendelijke groeten,

Geesjen Doddema, Harkstede

Thanks Geesjen for sharing. I look forward to any other submissions. My family and I love to hear how Doddema’s around the world celebrate their favorite holidays.

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