Traditional Christmas Greeting: "Zalig Kerstfeest", "Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar" (Dutch)
Location: Western Europe
Tree Type: Traditional / Cultural

Decorations:

  • The candles, glass ornaments, beads, angel hair, icicles and snowflakes represent the traditional ornaments used on the tree.
  • The delft pottery, wooden shoes and tulips represent the culture of the Netherlands.
  • Homes in the Netherlands are decorated with evergreen and holly.

Traditions: St. Nicholas (Sinter klaas), who is dressed in red Bishop's robes, arrives either on a white horse or in some areas in a boat from Spain and gives gifts to children on December 6th. Black Peter (Sarte Piet) accompanies him. Black Peter carries a birch rod to punish those children who have been bad in the past year. The children leave their wooden shoes filled with hay and a carrot in anticipation of St. Nicholas. If they have been good they will find small toys, nuts and candy in their shoes. Sometimes St. Nicholas will visit the house and will question the children on how they behaved in the past year.

In addition to the gifts received from St. Nicholas, the children play a game of hide and seek. The children will look in the cupboards and cubbyholes of the house for special gifts and they are rarely disappointed.