Christerklaas 2012

We had some idea that this year’s Christerklaas, our own homemade hybrid of Dutch Sinterklaas and American Christmas would be different since we had a baby in the family. Instead of starting at midnight on Christmas Eve and then going on till 3 AM, we would start at 8 PM and end before midnight.

But Axel hadn’t started on his poem and surprises when 8 AM came around – we gave him an hour but 9 and then 10 and 11 rolled around. So we started 20 minutes earlier than we used to. So what.

But we are all a bit older and tired now and we stopped at 1 AM and resumed the next day around 10 AM. Despite an attempt to make things easier (one person being responsible only for one other’s fun-poking and present – but few held themselves to this new standard.

Once again I was astonished about how our son in-laws have taken to this centuries-old Dutch habit, one of them even trying to convert his own family. Maybe we are starting a movement. Fifty years from now New England rhymes and pokes fun at each other at Christerklaas, the word in Webster’s.

Aside from a ton of chocolate – a substance we tend to give to each other, my two wishes were fulfilled: a new robe, as the old one, bought on Hamra street in Beirut 32 years ago was starting to disintegrate, and a remote car starter – a luxury I had only fantasized about.

Faro got more presents than a 6 month old can handle – it is a little worrisome what small people get when all they want is hugs and kisses and a bottle now and then.

The nice surprise this morning was the white stuff outside. We are counting our blessings.

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