Kerst voor expatkinderen in het buitenland

Hey there, party enthusiasts! I have to confess, I’m one of those who loves Christmas trees at 30 degrees. My mom is not too happy about it, but almost every year, I manage to find a sunny spot as a break from Dutch winters.

But when I am in the Netherlands during Christmas and New Year’s, I fully immerse myself in the cozy family traditions. The Christmas tree goes up, precisely on December 6, one day after Sinterklaas. We have a real one now because, let’s be honest, the scent of pine needles is unbeatable.

On Christmas Day, the sister’s breakfast takes center stage. Imagine a table full of delicious sandwiches, yogurt, granola, croissants, jam, cheese, chicken fillet, and all kinds of other tasty toppings. After breakfast, we dive into the Christmas spirit, exchanging small gifts, listening to non-stop Christmas hits from Sky Radio. This is followed by board games and sometimes family visits in the afternoon.

New Year’s Eve is also a blast. We get fireworks, meet up with family or friends, and fill the evening with oliebollen, apple turnovers, and other delicious treats. At the stroke of midnight, we raise a glass of alcohol-free champagne (we’re not big on alcohol) and then head outside to watch and set off fireworks.

The day after New Year’s? We often head to the beach, even if it’s a bit chilly.

Christmas for Expat Children

But how about expat kids who live abroad? Do you stick to Dutch traditions, even when the sun is shining? Or do you fully embrace local customs? And do you miss the Netherlands during these cozy family moments, or do you enjoy the change and the beautiful weather, along with the lovely people you’ve met abroad?

Maybe the kids can write a little something about it or create a drawing of their ideal Christmas, showing it to their Dutch teacher. I bet she’ll love that!

Enjoy the holidays, everyone, and have a fantastic 2024! Let’s make it another wonderful year together!

By Anouk Hosman, owner of Dutch for Kids

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