This weekend was finally Sinterklaas! As I explained before, it is similar to Christmas. Not only did I get to learn more about the holiday and celebrate with my teammates, but I also got to celebrate with the family!
It is tradition that the children get presents from Sinterklaas (but it is not like Christmas because everyone else in the family does not exchange gifts). As you get older, instead, you exchange poems(and maybe a small gift). So for our team Sinterklaas party, we did it Secret Santa style. (For those of you that don't know, everyone randomly gets someone else so no one knows who has who!) Anyways, we had to write a poem and get a little gift. I had heard many stories about these poems in past few weeks and how they are often geared toward roasting (making fun) of the person the poem is about. Now, I have never done this before, obviously, so I did not want to start my experience with hard feelings, so I just made mine a nice poem!! I also wrote about 20 lines, which I thought was pretty good, until I found out most had written a whole page, or even more.... whoops!! Everyone was understanding though that the foreigner didn't know any better!
As we went around reading the poems, some were funny, some were nice, but all of them rhymed just right! There was a rule that they had to be all in English, so most of them were, which was nice so the few foreigners could all understand and enjoy them too! It was funny when people got called out for things throughout the season; even our coach wasn't excluded! A few did not take the criticism too well, but I got roasted a bit too and laughed the whole way through! All in all, it was great fun and we had a wonderful meal that everyone contributed to! I definitely would love to bring the poem part of the holiday back to the states. It makes everyone be a bit more creative and reminds you of some good times from throughout the year.
I wrote a little poem since I was in the mood to rhyme:
It's that time of year
When Sint comes to bring holiday cheer
He comes along with his Piets
Who bring lots of great treats
Decorated with ribbons and curls
For all the good little boys and girls.
Finally on Sunday, I had a Sinterklaas celebration with the family. A few of their friends and their children came over as well. Sinterklaas and his Piet actually came to the house!! Sinterklaas talked to each child and asked them what they most wanted. He also knew all about them! ;) It was really cute to see how excited the children were. At the end, Sint gave them their presents, and told them to be good all year. It reminded me a bit of Christmas, with the children telling Santa what they want, etc. It was a nice little celebration and fun to experience first hand!
This weekend definitely got me in the holiday spirit, and I can't wait to go home and celebrate with my family!!! I head home in just 8 days!! It's almost like I get two Christmases this year! :)
All the presents and poems at the team Sinterklaas party
Sinterklaas at the house
All the kids love Zwarte Piet