Friday, January 4, 2008

Holland Holiday Season

Den Ilp is a village here in the Netherlands where everyone decorates their home with Christmas-themed lights and decorations (other than the religious). There's one main street where everyone drives through very slowly to view. Santa on a bicycle is more common than a sleigh, although occasionally he also turns up on a train or a motorbike.

I learned that Dutch is one of the most difficult languages in the world to master, so I'm lucky there's English everywhere.

Christmas dinner was fondue, not a goose or ham, or even turkey. Suits me just fine. Normally they use every excuse possible to have a party here, but as you might have noticed from the gap in my blog posts, I was ill for a while. So this was just a quiet Christmas dinner with Jeroen's parents.

I followed Santa's path on NORAD as he made his journey around the world. He didn't stop in either the Netherlands or Belgium, so we had to improvise gift giving with some help from Kabouters. In the US, we know them as Gnomes, but incorrectly so. They are completely different mythological creatures, and dang blast that travelling gnome for confusing the two.

Santa on a fiets.

A present for me! How nice!

My very own pair of klompen. I'm doing a clog dance.

Comfy shoes made of wood. A Dutch tradition.

I made Jeroen get a live Christmas tree, and added American candy canes to confuse everyone else. We planted it in the garden next to the tulip bulbs after Christmas.

A real German Christmas tree, from Dusseldorf.

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