So, we all know Santa Claus, but I guess most of you don’t know that he used to be taller and thinner and known as ‘Sinterklaas’ (Saint Nicholas). If you want to know more about how Sinterklaas went abroad and turned into Santa Claus you can read about it on Wikipedia. After Sinterklaas’ American make-over he actually traveled back to my country but he only seems to appear during Christmas time, so in Dutch we just refer to him as the Christmas Man. Sinterklaas has countless ‘Zwarte Pieten‘ to help him to his gift-giving job, but the Christmas Man left his Elves in the States and does all the gift-giving by himself at the end of December.
Chocolate (inside the pretty wrappers) versions of Zwarte Piet, Sinterklaas and the Christmas Man
In the Netherlands we still love to celebrate the original saint in several of our own very special ways; like stuffing shoes with candy and presents; throwing pepper nuts at each other; making fun of your friends in family in poems; eating marzipan pigs; surprising people with weird ways of wrapping gifts; spelling your name with chocolate letters; and singing songs at the chimney. And I’m missing all that fun again this year… But I’ll be home for Christmas!