Celebrate! It's St. Nicholas Eve. Sinterklaas is Coming!

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St. Nicholas - Sinterklaas - has been here! Since it is almost mid-night in Amsterdam, he had to come a bit early to the Pacific Northwest!

And I was ready for him this year! Wooden shoes and Pepernoten! I know, I know, carrots are traditionally left for Sinterklaas' donkey, but since I am always, always good, I left Pepernoten!

Sinterklaas left Clementines, peppermint sticks, chocolate coins AND lovely Dutch Licorice!  There is no better Licorice than Dutch Licorice!

December 5th and 6th (St. Nicholas Eve and St. Nicholas Day) are celebrated in many European countries - the Netherlands, Poland, France and Switzerland to name a few. And I suppose, as cultures intermingle, there might be some confusion about who brings presents on which day!

Take a moment to enjoy a  delightful story "Mulit-Culti Christmastime" that Helen shares on her blog runquiltknitwrite about how an English Mother and Swiss Father manage Sinterklaas and Father Christmas visits!

For me there is no problem! I celebrate them all! Every single reason to celebrate I can find! This being a season so rich in cultural lore and tradition, why not make the most of it?

Sinterklaas

Image taken by Marc Von Woudenberg

Isn't Sinterklaas magnificent?

Here are a few links to get you in the mood for December 6th - St. Nicholas Day!

Beautiful images of Sinterklaas.

Nest full of Eggs shares her own memories - past and present of visits from Sinterklaas.

Kathy at Polwig shares stories about St. Nicholas Day around the world.

The Story of Sinterklaas on about.com ( which also includes links to favorite treats in the Netherlands this time of year)

And from the St. Nicholas Center: Who Is St. Nicholas

St Nicholas coloring pages

Paper stand-up St. Nicholas to download and cut out.

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And now, if you will excuse me, I have a date with a lovely little ornament from the Netherlands, a cup of Dutch coffee and a few Speculaas.

Happy St. Nicholas Eve everyone.

Beautiful post and pictures!

Beautiful post and pictures! St Nicholas Day isn't celebrated here, but I found out about it years ago when I was a primary school teacher and made it a tradition in my classroom to leave our shoes out for Sinterklaas every year. My little boy is 2 and a half now so old enough to enjoy things like this so last night we left our shoes on the porch and discovered chocolate coins in them later. It's such a lovely festival that I had to adopt it!

We don't officially celebrate

We don't officially celebrate St. Nicholas Day here, but I enjoy the story very much and we emphasize his legend to our children over the typical Santa Claus stories. With the anti-trafficking volunteer work I do, the fact that the Christmas stocking tradition came from the legend of St. Nick rescuing girls from a life of slavery makes it all the more meaningful. And far more worthy of emphasis.

I'm learning so much about

I'm learning so much about all these different celebrations- thanks Pam!

Oh, Pam, what a lovely post.

Oh, Pam, what a lovely post. So beautiful. I love it all, especially the ornament. I have my Santa clogs post up now. The boys had such fun making them.

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