Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas is celebrated for 2 days in Europe

In the USA, there are no businesses open on Christmas day and then we hit the store sales the day after, but in England, Xmas extends to “Boxing Day”. Over the past few centuries, servants served the gentry, then on the 26th December, they boxed up the leftovers and took them to their relatives for their day off.
In Holland and in Germany, the “second Christmas Day” is a time to treat your family to dine in a restaurant but most are booked well in advance, so it usually becomes a second day of cooking and feasting at home.
It is believed that the tradition of Santa (Father Christmas) originated in 340 A.C, when the Bishop of Myra gave sweets to children. The legend of the kindly Pope’s representative arriving is played out with much pageantry in Holland to this day. Sinterklaas arrives annually on a Saturday at the end of November. This event is broadcast on national Television, each year he arrives at a different city by boat.
I traveled to Amsterdam with some friends from America and enjoyed their astonishment at seeing Santa’s helpers because he is always accompanied by 2 fake black moors! They are both named “zwarte Piet”( Translated is: “black Peter”). I have to admit, it is the strangest thing to see 2 grown men in tights with black makeup covering their faces! Well worth hopping on a KLM flight to cross the pond to experience a Dutch Christmas, if you can keep a straight face.
Children place one of their shoes in front of the fireplace (or heater). Inside the shoe, they place a carrot (for his horse), and a list of desired gifts that they hope will appear on December 5. Did you notice that I said that in Holland St. Nic delivers the gifts on Dec 5th and not on Dec 25 as he does in other parts of the world and that he has a horse in the Netherlands whereas he needs reindeer to travel globally? ~~~~Visit a Christmas market and drink hot “gluwine” with traditional “Snert” {Pea soup) to really experience this wonderful season. See the Telegraph.

Remember to get to the airport early because capacity is down this year so if you miss your flight, you may be stranded for a long time waiting for a seat on another flight. Elite members have priority.
Due to snowy conditions there will be delays and flight cancellations and the airlines bump passengers that don’t arrive on time. While the TSA has specified mandatory security measures, some local airport authorities have instituted additional time consuming measures, so I advise getting to your gate early. The average time required from entering an airport terminal within the U.S. to boarding an aircraft is approximately one hour for domestic flights. Cut off time is 30 minutes for domestic flights and 60 minutes for international flights.
Happy Christmas travels!


  1. For the original and authentic Christmas Markets visit Germany. The Christmas fairs and markets of Germany are big!

  2. christmas celebration is going everywhere.