Well, our first 5th of December in America… I must say the kids didn’t blink an eye at not being able to set their shoe in the weeks leading up to the 5th, and no bag of presents waiting on the doorstep? No problem. They set out their shoes on the evening of the 4th, sang their hearts out (Mylo joined in with ‘klaas’ every time), then went to bed and tried to sleep ‘right away’ so that the Piet Sinterklaas had promised he’d send for them could do his work.
And their boots full of treats and a few small toys? Well Sam likened it to Pakjes Avond itself! I’m so thankful for flexible and enthusiastic kids. Maarten’s parents put together a wonderful package of all the traditional sweets, so it was very authentic and the children couldn’t have been happier.
We baked pepernoten (mini ginger cookies) on Monday and I tried my hand at a traditional pastry called a banketstaaf. My mother-in-law was right, the flip side to being away is that you can make of the holiday what you will. I already see some lovely new family traditions forming.
I’ve cleared a place in the living room for a tree, and Christmas decorations have slowly been appearing, but as usual, I’ve kept off most things until after Sinterklaas. One thing at a time.