Christmas, Netherlands, Sinterklaas

6 December aka ‘Put Your Christmas Tree Up’ Day

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.

And so it is now in our home too: 6 December aka ‘put your Christmas tree up’ day.


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1 thought on “6 December aka ‘Put Your Christmas Tree Up’ Day”

  1. This is definitely something they should tell you in the integration course. Having said that, the first Christmas trees I saw were put up by the local car showroom and I saw some lights on a Dutch house on December 1st. Foei! In our family, we are not allowed to mention Christmas until after my husband's birthday in mid-November and, just like you, we wait until December 6th to put up the lights and the tree (artificial – bought nearly 30 years ago from V&D and still going strong). Our first Christmas card arrived about a week ago from a relative in Scotland with nothing better to do. So far, no more have got here yet, and I have until the weekend to write my annual catch-up letter to go in the cards. Which reminds me, my husband might have put up the tree, but I haven't decorated it yet and my teenagers are glued to their computer screens, as usual… Looks like there's 'werk aan de winkel'!

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