Christmas in the Netherlands
As an International you probably have your own Christmas rituals and customs, or maybe you even come from a culture where Christmas is not celebrated. In the Netherlands We LOVE Christmas!
Some people put their Christmas Tree up as early as November, but most Dutch households wait for Sinterklaas to be over. Putting up the Christmastree is a family event, and everyone pitches in. You can buy your Christmas Tree at most Do-it-yourself businesses like Praxis for example. https://www.praxis.nl/tuin-buitenleven/kerst/echte-kerstbomen/d460?gclid=CjwKCAiAt9z-BRBCEiwA_bWv-G4b0svQHYJhZuGWEulZsEuYNwX9UvSnHUkssZe815pKgVIdLIsFHhoC2dYQAvD_BwE They also do home deliveries! Or you can buy at IKEA, you buy a tree for 20 euros and get 19 euro back in the form of a gift card. https://www.ikea.com/nl/nl/campaigns/kerstboom-voor-een-piek-pub25f0f911
Although traditionally the Dutch didn’t include gift giving in their Christmas celebration, it has become a custom over time. Christmas morning isn’t very known in this country so people mostly give each other gifts at Christmas evening or at Christmas dinner.
A second Christmasday?
Yes! In the Netherlands boxing day or the day after Christmas is still considered as Christmas. They call it the second Christmasday, and many people will also have a Christmas dinner on this day. So don’t be surprised if you are invited for Christmas on the day after Christmas.
Some households will have a traditional fancy Christmas dinner. But a big favourite of Dutch people is “gourmetten”. You have a little cooking set placed in the middle of the table with little pans. Everyone cooks their own pieces of meat, vegetables or potatoes themselves in their own little pan. It’s a lot of fun and it gives you an all night activity rather than only having dinner. Also the host can enjoy the day with their guests instead of being in the kitchen.
People were sending less and less Chistmascards, but with the recent social climate where we are unable to spend time with friends and family the way we did before, post companies have seen a big increase in people sending Christmas cards again.
HOWDO hopes your holidays will be filled with love, friends, laughter and the best food!