So the jolly fat Anglo-American Santa Claus is catching up with the more serious Dutch Sinterklaas in the popularity stakes in Holland is he?

That’s the conclusion of a new TNS Nipo poll today. Hardly surprising really. You couldn’t expect the retail sector to ignore yet another excuse to get people to buy presents could you? Not that the perfume makers and toy sellers can be blamed, of course.
Like Halloween and Valentine’s Day, it’s all the fault of those pesky Anglo-Saxons conquering the world with their commercialised festivities. The Dutch Christmas is traditionally a time to spend with family and friends, feasting on elaborate meals.
For expats and people living away from home, Christmas, the Festival of Light, Hanukkah, Jule (call it what you will) – these myriad of mid-winter festivals take on a new significance. They remind you of home and the friends and family you have left behind.
And here you are in the Netherlands, hunting for British crackers complete with silly jokes, or Swiss confetti bombs or the vital ingredients for that Australian beach brunch. Or you are simply glad to be away, escaping the whole thing.
But wherever and however you are celebrating your own mid-winter rituals, would like to wish all its readers the very best. And may your god go with you.

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