Lovely lovely winter


These past weeks I’ve seen so many wonderful pictures of people celebrating Thanksgiving and I felt quite envious. But to be honest my December has been quite festive as well! Starting off with my birthday on the 1st, I had all of my family over and we had such a cosy afternoon.

This past weekend we celebrated Sinterklaas. If you’re not familiar with the concept, it’s an old traditional children’s holiday celebrated mainly in the Netherlands and Belgium, and some parts of Germany as well if I’m not mistaken. The basic concept is that Saint Nicholas arrives in the country ‘travelling by boat from Spain’ and we get to put our shoes by the fireplace, which in the morning will be filled with traditional candy and presents. Before the actual celebration we draw each others name out of a hat, and we prepare little gifts and a poem for the person we drew. On Sinterklaas eve (December 5th) you spend time with your family, opening presents and reading out the poems. The more creative families will also craft a ‘surprise’ (pronounced the french way), which is used as packaging for a gift. We usually skip the whole crafting bit, but writing each other poems and exchanging presents, together with a nice meal makes for a lovely evening.

I’m generally enjoying the arrival of winter a lot. Sure, I often find myself biking through icy wind and cold rain and I’ll complain endlessly. Sure, I dread leaving the warm house to walk the dog. But then coming home, settling myself by the fireplace with a blanket and some knitting makes it all worth while. Ever since I started my Spring Prairie socks I’ve been knitting very monogamously, leading to great progress (almost done with sock #2!) but also makes for very boring blogging apparently. I do have many new projects planned though. I’ve put most of my birthday money in a savings account, since I just booked a trip to Canada for next year, so I should do some yarn dieting. Yarn abstinence is not in my dictionary though, so some yarn is on its way to my house, however it has not yet arrived. So hopefully more on that later this week.

How about you, do you have any favourite winter traditions and do you enjoy the season?

14 thoughts on “Lovely lovely winter

  1. I love monogamous knitting, but I’ve just finished my only WIP so need to start a new project before I get withdrawals. Sinterklass sounds so festive and fun, I am adjusting to my first proper New Zealand Christmas, and it doesn’t feel quite right being summer, but looking forward to starting new traditions 🙂

  2. My son and daughter in law celebrate st. Nicholas day much the same way…..I don’t think their tradition has St Nick arriving by boat, though!!! I like this twist!!! What a lovely cozy spot you have to snuggle up in…..loving winter, too, but monogamous? Moi? NEVER!!!

    • Yes, the boat is quite an essential part! It’s in all the songs and I remember in school building the boat out of cardboard and paper.
      And it is a lovely spot indeed! The monogamous knitting is new for me as well, I have mixed feelings about it. We’ll see if it lasts 😉

  3. We celebrated Sinterklaas too, only we celebrate it on the morning of the 6th. It looks so cozy in your house.
    I used to knit monogamously, but since joining the sock challenge I’m knitting other projects and socks in between. It can be stressy sometimes though 🙂

    • Interesting to hear how Sinterklaas is celebrated differently everywhere, I strongly associate it with an evening of celebrating. There are so many knit alongs out there that it does make monogamous knitting hard! So many temptations..

  4. It sounds like you had a wonderful Sinterklaas-I love the times we get to spend with our families during this time of year. I’m very impressed you’ve managed to stick with some monogamous knitting; I hope you don’t lose momentum!

  5. Most, if not all, of Germany celebrates St Nicholas. He leaves gifts of nuts and oranges (and modern parents’ interpretations – e.g. anything they want to give their kids) in children’s shoes for them to find when they wake up on Dec 6th. If you’ve been naughty you may have to fear that ‘Knecht Ruprecht’ (Servant Rupert) will have visited instead and left you a lump of coal!

    • I didn’t know the St Nicholas celebration was so widespread in Germany, interesting thing to know.The German Knecht Ruprecht sounds a lot like our ‘Zwarte Piet’ (black Peter). Back in the day he would actually hit you with a stick and bring you back to Spain in a bag if you were naughty, but I think they updated the tradition and made it a bit less scary.

  6. I love the Christmas season. As I am from Germany, we also celebrate St. Nicolas Day, though not quite as elaborately as you do. When I moved to the UK I brought the tradition with me because it is simply a nice thing to do.

    In winter, the only good thing are the festivities for me. I am not a winter person at all!

  7. what a cozy scene! I love winter for all those same reasons. Being cozy by the fire is my favorite. I’m going to try to be a bit more of a monogamous knitter next year – only two projects at a time!

  8. That fire and blanket looks so very cozy and lovely. And Sinterklaas sounds like a great tradition. When I took German in high school, we would leave our shoes in the hallway and receive treats by the end of class. I like this “real” take on it with family, presents, and togetherness a bit more, I think. 😉 Happy December!

  9. my mom used to celebrate St Nicholas day but I did not carry on the tradition with my children. Now I wish I did. Love the wintry photo so cozy and warm!

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