Saturday, December 02, 2006

Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas...I have to share my gift for Marco!

I don't want to get into the whole tradition of Sinterklaas (it's actually very controversial these days but I'll let you google it if you want to know why)but I'll give you the low down as quickly as possible.

The quick run down, Sinterklaas and his helpers (which is the controversial part)come on a boat from Spain about 2 weeks before the 5th or 6th of December and Sinterklaas greets the kids via a big parade. His 'helpers' give out gingersnap cookies (called pepernotjes) to good kids and smack bad kids with a little twig type thing. If you're a bad kid Sinterklaas also will steal you and take you back to Spain with him. (It's really scary for a kid I can imagine but go ahead and take me to Spain! Oh the torture!) Anyway on the 5th you leave your shoes by the door in hopes that Sinterklaas will leave present in them for you. You also sing special songs around your shoes. But as far as the gift giving goes it's basically like the American Christmas. Christmas on the 25th here isn't such a big deal and not many gifts are exchanged.

So we decided not to do much for Sinterklaas but do more for Christmas this year so we only got each other small-ish gifts. Well I got Marco a HUGE bean bag type chair to sit in while he's playing his play station as he usually sits on the floor, which makes me cold! I couldn't even fit it in the trunk of the car and had to push the front set ALL the way up to get it in the back of the car it's so big!

But to make the gift giving more fun I made it a little treasure hunt, leaving clues here and there. The first clue begins on his one present that he's seen (wrapped) and has been buggin me to open for days now. So on top of that gift I left a note saying that he's been such a good sport (sarcasm anyone?) that I thought I'd play a little game with him. It says he can't open this gift but if he pays attention he will find out where his other is. I promised not to send him all over the world, maybe just a trip to Russia.

Well I collect Russian Matrioshka dolls (also called nesting dolls) so obviously in one set of them I hid his second clue telling him how clever he was for figuring it out and promised that after all this is done I will warm him up a nice meal.

That should send him to the microwave where I tell him that I'm making the clues too easy and that even though I promised not to send him everywhere I wondered if he'd be willing to go with me to Columbia for some coffee.

This should send him to the decorative box in our living room that says columbian coffee on it, but I realize he may actually look in the coffee maker and coffee grounds first. That should be fun! When he realizes it's the box in the living room he will open it to find a wrapped present.

Once he opens the wrapped present he will see it's a dog bone! I wrote that I must have gotten Scooter's gift mixed up with his. I wrote that it's too bad because Scooter has so many toys that he really didn't need another gift.

This clue should lead him to Scooter's toy chest where I've hidden at the bottom what looks like a wrapped gift card. He'll open the gift card to find my library card with a note wrapped around it saying "Thanks for finding my library card, I've been looking for it everywhere! I would have gotten you one but you never even read the book I gave you for Christmas 2 years ago!

This should lead him to look in the book I got him, The Davincci Code. In the book I left another clue telling him that his feet much be exhausted from all this running around and that maybe he should just open the present that's on the table where this all originally started.

So he'll open that gift. They are cute house slippers that look just like soccer cleats and are the Dutch colors. Very cute! On that gift I say that now that his feet are warm he's probably ready for a nice nap and to go ahead and lay his head down and rest a bit.

That should lead him into the bedroom where, under his pillow, he will find a wrapped present. On the outside I wrote "looks like you found something, but what is it?"

When he open it up he will have no clue what it is, as it's just the outer cover of the bean bag chair all folded up in a plastic bag, the beans are actually in a huge separate bag. So on the outside of that I wrote "still don't know? Maybe you should take a hot shower and clear your mind?"

That should lead him into the shower where the last of his present, the big bag of beans, is!

I can't freaking wait!!!I am such a kid but he is too and I think since it's just a bean bag chair it's a fun way to make the gift a little more fun.

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