Last Wednesday it was finally time to celebrate Sinterklaas, one of my favourite Dutch traditions! Now before I start let’s make clear that Sinterklaas and (who they know there as) Santa Claus are not the same person so Sinterklaas and Christmas have nothing to do with eachother. Unlike Santa Claus Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) actually existed and although over time the story has changed somewhat it is still a tradition based on true events.
Sinterklaas is celebrated on the evening of December 5th, the day before St. Nicholas’ birthday. In Holland this would be Winter time, so it is always pitch dark outside and people gather around fire places and heaters, this year they even had snow! Very handy when you try and pretend that Sinterklaas just knocked the window, left the presents near the door and headed off in the dark, but very tricky for us here in Australia! The best we could come up with was to pull down all the blinds and use the remote control from our doorbell.
Either way the kids were way too excited by the two big bags of presents at our front door to look up the street where Sinterklaas had gone off to so quickly. We decided to only give the kids presents this year because admit it, looking at them unpacking their gifts is more fun than getting something yourself and it is much cheaper too. Hearing Miss 4 declare she was ‘soooooooo happy’ (while holding a $4 memo block to her chest) and ‘this is such a wonderful day’ was my favourite part of the evening.
Although I has already picked all the presents weeks ago I sent hubby off to our local Target on Tuesday on a last minute hunt for some toy cars, as it was the only thing on Master 4’s wishlist. He has plenty of cars already but I didn’t want him to be disappointed that Sinterklaas didn’t even grant his only wish. This Hot Wheels 5-pack cost just $11, which I thought was pretty good. Of course hip daddy searched until he found a Ferrari themed pack, he’s still a big kid himself!
Miss 2 was the hardest to shop for as, just like most children with older siblings, she has so much already. When I spotted this Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Medical Kit on special at Target for just $10.50 a few weeks ago I knew straight away she would love it and what a good price! I believe this set has been part of the Fisher-Price range for years (many of you will recognise it) and it is still just as popular!
Some of the other big winners this Sinterklaas evening were two sets of ‘stompers’ (those old fashioned upside-down buckets with ropes that kids can walk on) for the twins, ABC writing/colouring books, stickers, a new LeapFrog game each, a fabric necklace, a game of Domino and Memory and some Golden Books. Later they did ask why Sinterklaas didn’t have time to come inside but quickly forgot about it again while playing with their toys.
It was a great Sinterklaas evening and we did well on a budget (it pays keeping an eye on the Target catalogues!).
Until this Wednesday you can scoop up some great toys bargains at Target in their current promotion: Buy one toy, get 50% off a second toy! As Australia Post and other couriers get really busy in December going into your local Target store is your safest choice for Christmas gifts, pre christmas delivery for online orders from the Target Online Store ends today (for some states the cut off date has already been).
To find out more about Target, to browse the latest catalogue and to locate a Target store near you visit www.target.com.au.