Friday, December 27, 2013

Fa La La La La, La La La Laaaaaa...

I meant to come on here sooner and wish you a Merry Christmas, but I kind of failed at that.  Sorry!  So Merry belated Christmas.  Hope it was everything you needed and you were bestowed with the blessings that you deserve.

This Christmas was an awkward one.  No familiar faces, weather or traditions. I'll give you a 2-second background.  The Netherlands, as a whole, doesn't celebrate Christmas in any way like we do; there isn't the commercialism like we have back home (which I'm thankful for).  Christmas is for Christians and for going to church.  As far as I understand it, not about presents or things like that (as a rule; but not every house is like this. Some do celebrate and have gatherings!).  So no matter what we did, it didn't feel right.  Which isn't to say I didn't enjoy myself, but just different, y'know?  We opened our presents Christmas Eve evening (I got an mp3 player! It'll help a lot at the gym!) because Christmas Day we got up and out the door for Mass.  Then his parents picked us up at the church and we spent the day with them.  They even added to my snowman collection :)  Best of all, they got us a new toy.  Okay, it was addressed to us, but really it's for me ;)

A Philips (his dad works there) 3-in-1 food processor/blender/grinder.  I was speechless.  I needed these products *so bad*.  In fact, I even hugged the box (they've got a pic of that, conveniently).  I've even contemplated giving it a name.....

Well, not much else to say today.  I've got some organizing to do.  I might start slowly taking decorations off the tree.  We're hosting a brunch Sunday so I have to plan for that to shop for it tomorrow *and* head to IKEA to exchange under-the-cupboard lights.  I swear, we should have stocks in that company by now for the amount of times we're there.

Oh!  I almost forgot.  I met with Father from church (the meeting I mentioned before) and it went well!  In fact, he emailed the choir director introducing me; I wrote her back... and it looks like I'm now in the St. B choir.  Eek!  Next rehersal is Jan 9th, I think.  I asked her if she saw any problems with my low Dutch vocabulary to which I got the response, "Well, learn it!" (So Dutch.)  And I am... but since I've been learning general vocab and food vocab, I now have to learn music vocab.  She said she has an Italian with her and she does fine, so I should be okay.  And it's funny how I'm approaching it; I am resisting change so much and so worried about how I'm not going to understand things and figure I'll get overwhelmed and lose track and.. and... and I never stop to think that maybe people will be patient and understanding and it won't be such a difficult transition after all.  So I'm trying to keep an open mind. 

Cultural Differences: to note (before Christmas is REALLY over); Christmas trees - are (9 times out of 10) decorated with white lights, not Multi-coloured.  Heaven forbid you decorate your tree with coloured lights ("it's not as pretty") or - gasp - twinkling lights.  lol.  Hearing some of their comments make me giggle (though I do like white lights...).   There is your random information of the day.

Up and moving I go!  Hope you're having a great week!


hydra said...

What a fascinating post! I had no idea there were so many differences. Here in the UK, it's just like Canada and America. An overload of glitz and bling, houses flashing like multicoloured lighthouses. I love the idea of white lights on the tree. That's very Scandinavian. They celebrate Saint Lucia with white clothes and white candles. I had a lovely Christmas. Good luck with the choir, You can do it!

Steve Finnell said...
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Nicole H. said...

Great post! My family always celebrated Christmas in more of the Netherlands-way as well. Christmas Eve was when presents were opened - Christmas Day was for church and time with family. Nicole H.

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