Dear ‘Sinterclaus’…


In Belgium we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving and Halloween isn’t a reason for throwing a huge party, but we have something that the American kids don’t have. We have Sinterklaas. Sinterklaas is an old man from Spain, who brings comes to Belgium and Holland the 6th of December to bring kids the toys they want. He has lots of helpers, who are called the ‘zwarte pieten’ or black peters. He also has a horse who helps carrying all the toys.

Slaiden’s cousins Ashley and Logan came to visit us a couple of weeks ago and since it was Ashley’s 7th birthday and since the kids have dutch roots I decided to let them have the Sinterklaas experience as a gift. (We celebrated it about a month too early, but I told the kids that he had to come all the way to the US and that that was why they were the first ones to get their gifts!)

The kids wrote their letters to Sinterklaas and put their shoes in front of the fireplace, accompanied by a carrot and sugar for the horse and some beers for Sinterklaas and zwarte piet. That’s how you have to do it if you want to follow the tradition! The kids wanted to put some of the cupcakes I made them next to their shoes, because they thought that Sinterklaas might like that. So cute!

The next morning they came back and they found their new toys, lots of cookies, chocolate, speculaas, cuties and of course the empty beers, halfly finished carrots and some leftovers of the cupcakes.

The kids really liked everything about it, and Slaiden was more interested in the chocolate than in anything else. What did expect? 😉

I’m happy that I introduced this new tradition to them, and I hope that they will keep doing it and that they will pass it forward to their kids someday.

When the kids went to the hotel and Slaiden was asleep we were setting up the whole thing and we also had a little gift for Maddie, the dog. We put her name on the floor with the cookie letters and after finishing the beers (we put three beers in front of the fireplace as you saw. I mean, we could as well enjoy this little kids holiday too right?!) we walked by the table we set up and suddenly didn’t see Maddie’s name anywhere anymore! She ate the whole thing! So funny! I loved that she liked this holiday too! 😉

What do you think of this tradition? Do you have a non-american tradition too? Let me know in the comments below! 😉


PS: I want to give a special thanks to my cousin Bas to get all the Sinterklaas stuff to Stephanie, a lady from the mommy and me group, who brought it back to California!


Ash was writing her long letter to Sinterklaas and zwarte piet!


I made cupcakes for the birthday girl!


Ashley was a good girl the whole year! Love how she spelled Sinterklaas… 😉


I loved setting up the table! I never did this before, but seeing how creative my parents were when doing it when my sisters and I were smaller, gave me some inspiration on how to do it!


In his letter, Logan admitted that he argued a little ‘bite’. So cute! Even though I told him not to be too specific about what he wanted, he wrote down all the details of the toys on his wish list ‘just in case’.DSC_8229DSC_8321

Slaiden got a lot of new toys, but he liked the chocolate better! 😉

11 thoughts on “Dear ‘Sinterclaus’…

  1. happyface313 says:

    Oh, this is so cute! I remember Sinterclaas and Zwarte Piet from my Dutch friends, too. It’s so nice of you to bring this tradition to your friends in the US. I bet you really made the kids HAPPY! 🙂 x

  2. jesh stg says:

    We are Dutch, so in the beginning we still celebrated Sinterklaas. There’s a Dutch store in Bellflower that celebrates it Nov. 30 (this Friday!) In the store they sell chocolate letters, speculaas, pepernoten. Their facbook page is HollandAmericaninternational specialties and wmail is HollandAmerican at gmail(dot)com.
    Great pics:)

  3. Feet from Shore says:

    I had no idea you guys had this tradition! It’s so funny that Sinterklaas is an old Spanish man and I’m sure nobody in Spain knows who this guy is haha. It’s so sweet of you that you took the time to introduce your family to your culture and made cupcakes for the bday girl. It sounds like an awesome party, I’m glad you guys enjoyed it! 🙂

  4. aumque says:

    In Russia the guy’s name is Grandfather Frost (Ded Moroz). He is mostly pedestrian and usually calls on children on a New Year’s Eve, attended by his granddaughter Snowgirl (Snegurochka). He carries a huge sack full of presents on his back and pretends to be a happy teetotaler, although the actors who used to represent him at Soviet matinees were drunk so often that finally his once holy name had begun to appear in obscene anecdotes. But children still love him in Russia, I believe.

    Of course, it is quite safe to say that Sinterklaas and Ded Moroz are twin brothers if not the same person viewed from different cultural milieux.

  5. timecollage says:

    In Romania we celebrate on the same day, December 6th, St Nicholas or Grandfather Nicholas (Mos Nicolae). He brings gifts that he leaves in the shoes for the kids that have been good. I think it’s so interesting to see that while we don’t have the same exact names, we celebrate all the same December 6th. In fact Santa Claus’ name originates from the very Sinterklaas that you celebrate on December 6th.

    Unfortunately this year I have completely forgotten about it. Having lived in the US for a while, I have not been so much in the spirit of the native country holidays. It did however take me a while to get used to the Thanksgiving Day as a holiday, even if I don’t really… give any thanks.

    • juliecrombe says:

      That’s funny! That’s the exact holiday! We call him Sinterklaas or Sint Nicolas! I really thought that this tradition was only known in Belgium and Holland! Well, I guess blogging about something can make you find out things that you didn’t know! Thanks for reading and commenting! Have a great Sunday!

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