Preparing for Christmas

It’s that time again when snow falls, shoppers run you over with the carts/cars, and Santa Claus comes to town. He came this past weekend to our local Wal-Mart. Most of our kids didn’t have a problem with it except for Bridget, who refused to sit on his lap. So here’s some pictures of some of our kids. Enjoy.

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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.

Need headstone photographs

First off, I’m not trying to be disrespectful. Headstones are wonderful “tools” for tracking genealogy. Believe it or not, it gives me a sense of peace to know that they’re there. It’s something concrete that I can rely on. It makes it more “real” to me.

If you find that you have photographs or know that I’m missing one, please send them to me so I can include them in the album that I have in the Gallery.

Site update for 8 December 2006

Big updates for today. Mr Papa has been helping me get some plugins installed that, I believe, have greatly enhanced the site. I’ve mentioned before how many problems I was having installing the Gallery plugin but within a couple hours, not only did Mr Papa get the plugin in working, he rewrote the CSS and PHP so that it would more closely match the theme of the site. Now that’s amazing.

If you have any problems with the site or the plugins that I have installed, let me know and I’ll get it worked out.