Thursday, December 30, 2010

Een witte Kerst

Snowy Oirschot
It was a white Christmas in the Netherlands this year. Everything is covered in snow and Jaap's hometown is picturesque. Thankfully we made it from Maastricht to Oirschot without a hassle. I kept thinking how perfect these snow conditions are for sleigh riding. Not too many hills around these parts though. :)
We celebrated Christmas Eve with Jaap's parents with dinner and going to church. Even though I'm not a church-goer, I enjoy it. The cathedral in Oirschot is massive and beautiful. It's pretty powerful attending on Christmas Eve. 
Christmas Eve
I love Christmas in the Netherlands. No presents, no binge eating... it's very refreshing. I feel so much healthier visiting Jaap's parents. We take long walks (even if it's freezing cold), watch less T.V., play games, and don't binge on large amounts of food. It's very different than the American way of celebrating the holidays and I enjoy it so much. 

Here's one of the games we played: Sjoelen! 

Christmas day walk
But despite all of our new traditions we are starting in the Netherlands it is difficult to be away from family this time of year. Binge eating and all, I wish I could see my parents on these special days. My mother has a tradition of giving my sister and I new pajamas on Christmas. It has not happened in a few years and she says she's in withdrawal. She says that she's giving us new pajamas next year if we like it or not. And Jaap as well. :)

The rest of the Jansens came on the second day of Christmas for some more festivities complete with delicious food (thanks to Trees), games, and sterretjes (aka sparklers). Afterwards Jaap and I went to Bruges for a nice vacation. More about that later!
Getting ready for New Year's

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