Return to Utrecht

Trip Start Sep 12, 2005
Trip End Dec 12, 2005

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Sunday, December 11, 2005

We arrived in Amsterdam about 7 pm and there to greet us were Barbara and Thijs! We had planned to take the train out to Utrecht, so were very happy that they had decided to surprise us!

We spent the next day and a half in Utrecht visiting with them and I did some shopping. Barbara played field hockey on Sunday; Martin got his kicks out of, once again, teasing their cat, Hippie.

Christmas is much more evident here than it was in Madrid, though not nearly the hullabaloo it is in Canada and the US. The big celebration for the Dutch is December 6, "Sinta Klaus", when Santa comes from Spain to bring gifts to all the children. To prepare for Sinta's visit, children leave carrots in their wooden shoes as well as a bowl of water for Sinta's horse. Thijs and Barbara told us that bad children go back to Spain with Sinta. Christmas has becoming increasing important to people in the Netherlands, but they do not exchange gifts. Rather, the day is spent visiting with family and friends. Perhaps we could learn something from the Dutch about simplifying Christmas . . . .
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