Sinterklaas overload

Tonight is the night when Sinterklaas – Saint Nicholas – delivers his presents to Dutch childern. Some will get presents left outside the door in a sack, others will find something in their shoe…


But the lucky ones will get a visit from the great man himself. Actually, most children will have come across Sinterklaas in person already – at least once. He will have visited their créche or school, dropped by at football practice and may even have been spotted outside the bakery on Saturday afternoon.
And this year, as columnist Paul de Lange points out on website nu.nl, there have been three tv channels competing to attract Sinterklaas advertisers (sorry, audience) as well.
Z@ppelin broadcast the Sinterklaasjournal three times a day. Jetix screened De Club van Sinterklaas four times a day and then, on Nickelodeon, you could watch the three daily shows of Bij Sinterklaas.
All three broadcasters had their own contradictory story lines going, leaving any channel-hopping Sint fan totally confused. Still, it was a lot of Sinterklaas tv, and a lot of opportunities to advertise hideous Bratz dolls and other stuff no self-respecting six-year-old should be without.
It’s nice to see a good old Dutch tradition – making as much money as possible – being preserved.