I’m back in Amsterdam where they celebrate the Saint Nicholas’ eve today. This guy is the basis for the more familiar Santa Claus, but originally this eve was the celebration of Saint Nicholas, patron saint of children.

Sinterklaas differ from Santa Claus in several ways. Instead of a deer-driven carriage he arrives by boat from Spain! He also has a sidekick called Zwarte Piet (Black Pete), but this figure was quickly removed from the American traditions. If Pete encounters any bad children, he simply put them in a sack and bring them back to Spain!

Perhaps not the most modern approach to children, but I have to admit it’s probably effective.

de Bijenkorf Catching the season at de Bijenkorf on Dam Square, Amsterdam.

As I walked through the streets of Amsterdam, I almost started humming at the song from Nightmare before Christmas:

“Kidnap the Sandy Claws, lock him up real tight
Throw away the key and then turn off all the lights
Kidnap the Sandy Claws, throw him in a box
Bury him for ninety years then see if he talks”
— Nightmare before Christmas

…but quickly realized that it may be an inappropriate thing to do. So it was time to revisit the Pancake Bakery at Prinsengracht instead.


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