I always knew: HE REALLY EXISTS!
Admitted: he works under a few aliases - in the Netherlands he calls himself SINTERKLAAS, and as a man with a full agenda he visits the children earlier than in Germany or Great Britain.
Netherlanders will not tire to tell you about their historical influence in America - think of Niuew Amsterdam (later changed to New York) - and so you will easily see the metamorphosis from Sinterklaas to SANTA CLAUS.
In the Netherlands he arrives at December 5th, and he comes in a steamship from Spain - in pakjesboat 12.
His companion is de ZWARTE PIET (the Black Peter) - and in our hyper-politically-correct time poor Piet (being black and stereotyped) has a lot of hostilities to endure. He tries to convince his adversaries that he is only black because he comes through the chimney, and only all that soot, this fine particulaired matter, is blackening his face, but a lot of grown-ups shout: "Don't pull that black wool over our eyes!" The Mayor of Dordrecht, where Sinterklaas' boat landed this year, manly forbade a demonstration against Piet.
(Nothing new under the sun: in Delft (Netherlands) in 16th century all Sinterklaas-festivities were prohibited. But then, in 19th century, the man in the red cloak with those cute silky white long curls was everywhere accepted, and utterly loved by the children).
My childlike soul still believes in decency, trustworthiness and uprightness.
And in love.
And so it is no surprise that I saw HIM:
Sinterklaas walked through the heavy snow that fell on the Netherlands (as in England).
Walked towards the North Sea to his ship.
And: He was alone.
I could not see de Zwarte Piet.
But then, admidst the heavy snowflakes, a second person materialized - and I understood: SINTERKLAAS, the saintly and sly old fox was so much smarter than his adversaries!!!
Look -- yes! -- trust your eyes: his new political absolutely correct companion is ---
(Ok, Ok - I see that he is also a faithful man: there is a black person in front of him - and yes: it might be de Zwarte Piet...)
Dear Bloggers, whereever you are in the world:
I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Yours, Britta PS: Believe me - wonders do happen!