25 December 2012
Kirk's, Leyndyke or Luyendyk, heritage is 100% Dutch from his grandfather back. I find researching his ancestry fascinating. Today, Christmas Day in the United States, I celebrate his ancestry with a few holiday customs from The Netherlands.
The eve of December 5th is the time that children look forward to in The Netherlands for it is the eve that Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) visits, much like Christmas Eve is for American children. Don't confuse Sinterklaas and Santa Claus as they are not the same people in the Netherlands.
The children are told that this is the day that Sinterklaas sails from his homeland in Spain. He travels with his servant, Black Peter, bringing gifts with him. Presents are put in a bag with a neighbor knocking on a door or window and leaving the bag there.
The children aren't looking for a sleigh and reindeer as Sinterklaas travels on a grey horse going from rooftop to rooftop.
These are just a few highlights of Sinterklaas. Peter at Peter's Blog does a much better job of explaining it. Scroll down the page to read the highlights or right click and translate his blog.
I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas or as the Dutch would say Vrolijk Kerstmis.