Is your Santa fat or skinny?

During our time in Libya I became friends with woman called Petra who was from the Netherlands. Petra was tall, skinny, blonde, blue eyed and had beautiful olive skin, she was a nightmare to stand next to at the pool. Unfortunately for white pasty me, we were in Libya which is really hot, so we had to stand by the pool a lot.

When we weren’t standing by the pool, Petra taught me a few of her Dutch traditions. We had little mini dutch pancakes at Easter and when my third little traveler was born she made me “Beschuit met muisje“. At the beginning of December, sometime around the 5th, she invited us along to share in the arrival of Sinterklaas.

When she explained who Sinterklaas was I looked at her in pity, her Sinterklaas not only had his dates wrong but he was skinny and traveling by boat from Spain. In comparison to my fat and jolly Santa Klaus who lived at the North Pole, her Sinterklaas seemed like a sad second prize. We had a lot of laughs that night comparing Santa’s and trying to “one up” each other on who had the best man in red.

Yesterday I sat in a ballroom of a big hotel with about three hundred others eating turkey and drinking bubbles. We all wore silly hats and tore open Christmas crackers. You couldn’t help but notice the different accents at the buffet, French, Italian, British and American, we were all from different locations but partaking in the same theme.

The big fat jolly Santa made an appearance and I thought of Petra and her Sinterklaas. I wondered how many of us in the room had Santa arrive on Christmas Eve as opposed to Christmas Day.  I also remembered a fantastic piece of writing from David Sedaris on when he was told about Sinterklaas.

Happy Holidays.

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