This morning we celebrated Sinterklaas (a day early) with the kids — which is the Dutch equivalent of Christmas, except that it’s about Sinterklaas and not Jesus. When Madeline was a baby I was adamant that she would never believe in Santa Claus and that that should never be a part of Christmas. But somewhere along the way my opinion has changed.

We don’t do gifts from “Santa” and we don’t make a show about Santa coming down the chimney on Christmas Eve, but when they talk about Santa, we don’t shut them down. In fact, I’m not sure the little kids don’t believe in him. Luke, for example, wrote on a piece of paper the other day: “Santa, I baleve in you” in response to a viewing of Charlie Brown Christmas. Like I said, we don’t encourage it, but we don’t squelch it, either.

So, when the kids got up just after 7am this morning, when we had our alarm set for 7:30, they all came and snuggled in our bed and I asked them to tell the story of St. Nicholas. They know this from the Veggie Tales movie about him. Luke said a few things. Then Madeline. Then I said, “St. Nicholas was a man who robbed from the rich to give to the poor. He looked kind of like a fox, and his best friend was an overweight bear.” This, of course, was followed by Madeline saying, “Mo-om!” which she says every time I say something outlandish.

As we laid there I did distinguish between Disney’s 1973 version of Robin Hood and Saint Nicholas, and I gave them a little sermonette (in my barely conscious state) about giving. About when Jesus was born a lot of people had to give of themselves and risk all sorts of trouble in order for him to even be born. About how Jesus showed us what God’s good kingdom is supposed to be like, and that he said that we must be like little children in order to be a part of his kingdom. And, borrowing from my New Testament professor, I said, being like children means that we are vulnerable, that we need others, that we can’t survive on our own. And that’s why we give gifts on days like this, and why all year we need to give to others and receive what they have to give.

Or something like that, anyway.

And it was a nice morning. They’ve been playing with their few toys and eating breakfast for last hour. And this was our kids just after 7:30 this morning after they opened their gifts around the Christmas tree:
(No family picture is complete without Luke making this face.)

Happy holidays to everyone this month. And may we all experience the joy of giving and receiving as the vulnerable people we are, remembering the hope we have of true love and generosity.

Posted in Faith, Family, Kids, Life & Faith | 8 Comments

8 Responses to Holidays

  1. Hi Dixie,
    You family is beautiful and I felt like I was looking back in time when seeing your oldest daughter-she looks so much like you did!
    I was noticing also the dutch christmas info. Namibia had a strong dutch influence and so can understand what you are saying. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful Christmas

  2. Gavin says:

    These pictures of the kids are the BEST.

  3. Margreet V. says:

    Dixie ,
    In short, Sinterklaas (St.Nicolaas) was a bishop in Mara , Turkey who was very concerned about the poor and especially children. Look the history and legend up on the computer, I did it for Erika and had some real pictures for her from a Dutch newspaper, she is going to write something about that for school with pictures and all. It is based on a real person who gave whatever he could to the needy, the black Pete and Spain storyand the white horse etc. I don’t exactly know where that originates. it is a fun time and I had something in my shoe as well this morning , Sint dropped it off at Andrew and Naomi, ha,ha.

  4. Margreet V. says:

    Look up on Google, Dutch Sinterklaas history and Legend and todays celebration..

  5. Margreet V. says:

    I love the kids pictures, cann’t believe all dressed up so nice early in the morning!

  6. O Dixie, those pictures are keepers, the ones that will help you remember the trailer years in Seminary.

    Bless you during this season of Christ,


  7. Roo says:


Leave a Reply to Margreet V. Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Pages

  • Recent Comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Meta