There are some very close simularities between Santa Claus and St. Nicholas, but yet very different. St. Nicholas rides a horse instead of a sleigh being pulled by 8 tiny reindeer. His black helpers are called Zwarte Piet which is the Dutch name for the Moorish helpers, as opposed to the little elves who make the toys for Santa. And St. Nicholas prefers to have a glass of wine left for him along with some carrots or turnips, and a sugar lump for the saint's horse. Hmmm, makes cookies and milk sound a bit boring.
St. Nicholas and his Zwarte Piet assistants come in November by boat, train, or on horseback to get ready for his feast day, the 6th of December.
So today, little Ella, Stijn's niece, came decked in garland to grandma's to see what St. Nicholas had left for her the night before.
Our day was spent enjoying family, good food and watching Ella enjoying her gifts.
I wish all of you a Happy and Joyous Holiday Season wherever you may be!