In the Netherlands as soon as pakjesavond is celebrated and Sinterklaas is on his way back to Spain everything related to the 5th of December is quickly packed away. Then it’s time to turn attention to Christmas. That means everyone runs to the local garden centre or Christmas tree vendor on the 6th of December and spends the rest of the day hauling the Christmas stuff from the zolder (attic) and decorating the tree.
Which is exactly how we spent our day yesterday. Well, actually we did a little preparation and bought our tree on Friday whilst the kids were busy in school with Sinterklaas and his helpers. But then we realised we hadn’t bought a snow blanket thing to put the Christmas village on so my husband popped to our local Intratuin. He picked up the last snow blanket pack…. and was actually challenged by another shopper as to whether his need was greater than hers…… It’s a jungle out there folks.
Many years ago, when I was a naive and untrained expat, I attempted to get our Christmas tree up as soon as December reared its head. I learnt very quickly that that is just NOT DONE in the Netherlands. You should have the courtesy to see Sinterklaas off before you welcome Christmas into your home. I know better these days and go with the flow.