Since I’ve been married, I’ve tried to incorporate different holiday traditions into our lives to teach my children about their heritage. One I’ve enjoyed is Sinterklaas day. I recently asked my dad and others if they would be willing to share some of their memories and this is what my father shared.
“Like Christmas, Sinterklaas is about love and family. I remember the family gathered in the living room around the hearth, yes we had a coal space heater to heat the house when we lived in Nederland. We would sing Sinterklaas songs and we would leave cookies, milk and a carrot for Schimmel, Sinterklaas’s horse. We would leave our shoes by the hearth.
Some folks left their shoes in the hall by the front door. The next morning we would wake up to a large orange, maybe a gingerbread cookie, large in shape of a doll. You have to remember that this was after the war and the country was in a rebuilding mode so I would get clothes or something like that as well.
Remember that Sinterklaas spends most of the year in Spain, is dresses like a catholic Bishop, Which he originally was, comes to Amsterdam by ship,a with his horse Schimmel, of course. There is a huge crowd at the harbor to see him land. Of course black Pete is always with him. Pete always has a supply of coal on hand for the naughty children.
Since you guys left home we now put the Christmas tree up on the 5th.”
I look forward to hearing from others about their memories of this day.