This afternoon Sinterklaas came to Schijndel! We were all a bit hesitant in understanding this early arrival when Saint Nicholas’s feast day is not until December 6th and our  Santa Claus from the North Pole comes on Christmas Eve. We were all confused and to be honest not eager in learning a new celebration amongst feelings of being homesick for family this time of year. Our minds are on roasted turkey, pumpkin pie, and well…all the fixings. Our hearts are filled with memories of being with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins at Thanksgiving celebrations. But when Sinterklaas came into Schijndel riding on a glistening white horse the kids’ faces lit up and the eagerness and curiosity began! Our seven year old immediately came home and put his shoes out! His siblings followed and are into the Dutch Sinterklaas episodes each day on TV Schijndel. You know their new language is improving then they have to explain what is going on to mama.

Just a few years ago we had Astroid, an elf, come flying in from the North Pole to check on our little youngsters throughout the season of Advent. Now, we are introduced to Zwarte Piet and Sinterklaas’s many helpers here in the Netherlands. To make sense of things, Astroid came to our rescue with this simple and lovely letter this morning.

It’s Astroid reporting for duty! I found ALL of you!!! It was a bit of a rough flight over the North Sea. The air was frightfully chilly, but I had to come to you quick! Santa wants to come to your home more than anything this year. You all have been such good little children and have worked so hard in your endeavors in learning a new language and moving to a new country! We are oh so proud of each of you! The elves have been working extra hard this year too in designing, making, creating, and even shopping for children all over the world! I flew here as fast I could to share with you about the Netherlands and their Sinterklaas in hopes that you would all continue to believe in our magic of giving!

The Dutch Sinterklaas comes in on a white horse with his helpers that come down the chimney each night to deliver small gifts in your shoes! You might want to be on your best behavior each day and put your shoes out each night for a small surprise! I couldn’t wait to visit you all here in the Netherlands because Dutch sweets and eats are my favorite!

Here is what you also need to know…Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet are Santa’s helpers too! They will be spending the night in Schijndel in a nearby hotel on Hoofdstraat for the next few weeks keeping watch on all the good little children in town. We both work together in remembrance of the original Saint Nicholas back in the 4th century. Saint Nicholas was truly a faithful Christian saint and his legend still LIVES! We give in hopes that you will spread the JOY of giving to all!

I will continue to report back to the North Pole each day because after all Santa Claus comes in on Christmas Eve! If you plan on doing any kind of traveling over the Christmas Holidays please write a note to me as soon as possible! Santa loves hearing from children and would love to get a letter from each of you!

Your Elf,


I’m thankful for Astroid’s encouraging letter to believe in the magic of giving through our 4th century Saint Nicholas and our modern day Sinterklaas & Santa Claus! I’m thankful he tied things together for me and the kids! I’m thankful we are all eager again about learning a new celebration here in the Netherlands! And most importantly, I’m thankful we have friends and family to miss and love far away! If possible, please mail a Thanksgiving turkey or BBQ brisket this November 28th and we will send you some Sinterklaas snoepjes of chocolate letters or Kruidnoten.

The sweet vintage postcard photo above came with this Dutch Sinterklaas Story.






  1. Happy Birthday Jessica.
    I’m so proud of you guys for embracing your “new” home in such a courageous way. I know you will make memories of a lifetime. I think about you often and love your stories and adventures – keep them up. You do such a great job Jessica! We are thinking of you and miss you. Who knows – maybe we’ll get to visit on our next trip to Germany. Xoxo, Petra

  2. Cecilia says:

    WOW!!! Astroid is amazing and really helped me figure it all out too plus gave me some inspiration on giving. This post might be my favorite so far! I love you guys so much and can’t even begin to tell you how much more this post makes me miss you. You always have such amazing ideas and such a beautiful way to convey them to children. What a faith and spirit God gave you!

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