Dutch Language Blog

Vrolijk Kerstmis! Posted by on Dec 29, 2014 in Culture

Right after Sinterklaas left, a spirit of Christmas could be seen everywhere. Houses, stores and government offices displayed the Christmas spirit with trees, bows, lights and Christmas songs. The shops around town enjoyed a higher number of shoppers as the Dutch purchased presents for family and loved ones. Kerstmarkten in some cities allowed for drinking glühwein and ice skating and carolers filled the streets with their lively tunes. One of my favorite Christmas/New Year’s food are oliebollen, which are similar to doughnuts but in a ball-shape and sprinkled with poedersuiker, could be seen in the food trucks by markets, shopping areas and I even spotted one by Schipol.

Because I spent Christmas in Mexico with my family, my political family and I began the celebrations before I left. My in-laws gave us what I’ve observed to be a common gift: a Christmas package full of groceries, sort of like the care-packages moms send to their college children. Riccardo also received one of these packages, called kerstpakket, from work full of cheeses, wine, chips, crackers and more. I find this to be a great present because with all the entertaining and get-togethers this season, all that food comes in handy (perhaps also to enjoy on a cold winter night).

I have to admit that I am a bit disappointed with the weather this winter. The first time I came to the Netherlands, it was during what was called “the worst March in history” because of the abnormally low temperatures around spring. Playing tourist in Amsterdam with 1 degree celsius is not my idea of fun! This winter has been cold, but not as cold as it should be. The first froze happened very late in the year, and there has been little, if any, snow. I received this picture of our driveway and although the snow melted right away, I am happy to know our house was for a couple of minutes white!

Snow on our driveway in Beek, Limburg (personal photograph)

Snow on our driveway in Beek, Limburg
(personal photograph)

Happy Holidays to everyone and may your family moments be filled with all sorts of gezelligheid!

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About the Author: Karoly Molina

Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated with languages and writing. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and a little bit of French. I am a writer, reader, language teacher, traveler, and a food lover! I now live in The Netherlands with my husband Riccardo, our cat Mona, and our dog Lisa, and the experience has been phenomenal. The Dutch culture is an exciting sometimes topsy-turvy world that I am happily exploring!