It’s finally here: December, the most magical month of the year. In the Netherlands we start off the festivities with the feast of Sinterklaas (a figure based on Saint Nicholas, patron saint of children). After all the gifts have been unpacked and our bellies have been filled with chocolate letters and Dutch pepernoten (tiny biscuits), we start preparing for the next holiday: Christmas.

We light up our homes with candles, wreaths, and beautifully decorated trees. We might visit a Christmas market, where, after a few rounds on the ice skating rink, we warm up with some hot cocoa (or mulled wine for mum and dad). For us Dutch folk, it’s not December without all of this. However, chances are that very few people outside of Europe will know who Saint Nicholas is or what pepernoten taste like – but they will have unique December traditions of their own. Read more