It’s been awhile. Somehow Thanksgiving has come and gone as well as the 5th of December (when Sint Nikolaas gets serious; stops filling shoes and brings a burlap sack full of gifts before heading home to Spain…). We’ve had snow and freezing temperatures (though no skating around here yet); those first snows were greeted with much joy and I feel like we’ve settled into winter.
We had a really pleasant Thanksgiving. In the years that I’ve lived over here, we’ve done everything from ignoring the holiday entirely to a meal complete with turkey and all the traditional family recipes. Most years fall somewhere in between: a roasted chicken (because I forgot to order the turkey from the Poelier and they never carry them standard) and a few choice side dishes. This year was all about the Joy of Cooking Pumpkin Cheesecake. I’ve had my eye on it awhile because I’m not the biggest fan of pumpkin pie and I am very fond of cheesecake. It was everything it promised to be. The nice meal beforehand was just a warm-up for the fancy dessert. A delicious and cozy evening filled with thankfulness.
This year Sam was thankful for (and I quote):
My friends, flowers, such a pretty world, that no war comes by us, oh yeah, and for this (Zwarte Piet) hat.
I will say NO things.
And Mylo also said no things, but I’m sure if he could he’d mention the gazillion times he gets to nurse (or does it just feel that way??) and rice cakes (I get to fish out all the soggy leftover bits hiding in his neck-folds after… he’s been taking a lot more baths since starting on the adventure of solids).
And so now, on to Christmas. As was the case last year, the quick transition has been difficult and the balancing act of two cultures and their different celebrations and traditions has been tricky. But we pulled off a very wonderful Sinterklaas evening and I’m sure Christmas will bring a new set of joys and pleasures and family togetherness.
Yesterday I packed away the burlap sack, Piet hats and Sinterklaas books. Noa protested at first but then she and Sam settled into the new rhythm. Mylo’s bassinet (that he doesn’t exactly fit into anymore) became the manger for a very large baby Jesus who kept making annoying (if I may say so) mewling noises while Sam went with his big gold bouncy ball into Maarten’s workroom and announced: I’m an elf! Follow my gold ball! Maarten got up and followed the elf with the golden ball until it stopped, hovering above none other than…
Noa Baby Jesus.
The kids begged for Christmas cookies when we pulled out the cookbook this afternoon. We’ll put up the christmas tree this weekend… easing into the season one step at a time.
(Not that the Sinterklaas play has disappeared, oh no. I’ve been Opruim (Clean-up) Piet (again…) all day. Mylo has been Rommel (Messy) Piet and Noa Moeder (Mother) Piet – A fairly recognizable and accurate description of things around here at the moment, I’d have to say.)