Last year has been a difficult year for me and my family, I have not been posting as much as I would have liked because I just did not feel well. So much for that topic. Now Christmas is already near and my Christmas decorations are all up again ofcourse. We have added some decorations to it and made a few changes in the setup, I guess I have a little less decorations hanging up this year and i did not make Christmas pieces for the table myself either cus I simply did not feel like it. We are going to have our family diner on the first Christmas day, at the pancake boat. That’s like a two and a half hour lasting pancake buffet while you enjoy a tour in a boat through Amsterdam. In the belly of the boat is a childs play ground filled with balls and at the end of the buffet there will be nice deserts. Last year we did it too and Anarosa really had a blast. Merel had a good time too and so did me and Antonio. Not too fancy but different enough to make it special.
The second Christmas day we will have gourmet at home and probably watch a movie or something. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas together with your loved ones
Now most of the non dutch people who read my blog have hardly any clue who they are and what they meant for my and many other dutch grownups, childhood. To keep it simple. they are comparable with Santa Claus and his reindeers and elfs. (He actually originated from our Sinterklaas.) Theres no one without the other. Where you put cookies and milk out for Santa, the kids put out a carrot and some hay for Sinterklaas his white horse. Since I am practical I decide to quote a little bit form wikipedia about this Dutch tradition which is also celebrated in (former) Dutch colonies and Belgium.
Sinterklaas (also called Sint Nicolaas) is a traditional Winter holiday figure in Dutch-speaking Europe (Netherlands and Flanders), and is also well known in the former Dutch colonies. Every year he is celebrated in The Netherlands, one day before Saint Nicholas died (5 December) and on (6 December) in Belgium. His servant is Black Peter. Sinterklaas is the basis of the mythical holiday figure of Santa Claus in the United States. Sinterklaas has nothing to do with Christmas. Christmas will also be celebrated in the Netherlands. So Santa Claus is not the same as Sinterklaas (in the Netherlands).
Another Wikipedia site reads a little more also about Zwarte Piet:
There are various explanations of the origin of Zwarte Piet. One is that Saint Nicholas liberated an Ethiopian slave boy called Pieter from a Myra market, and the boy was so grateful he decided to stay with Saint Nicholas as a helper.
In modern adaptations for television, the Saint has developed a Piet for every function: there is a head Piet (Hoofdpiet), a navigation Piet (wegwijspiet) to navigate the steamboat from Spain to the Netherlands, a packing Piet (pakjespiet) to pack all the gifts, an acrobatic Piet to climb roofs and stuff presents down the chimney, or to climb down the chimneys themselves. Over the years many stories have been added, and Zwarte Piet has developed from a rather unintelligent helper into a valuable assistant to the absent-minded Saint.
And I found Many other sites that speak of this tradition to explain it to the non believers Personally I appreciate the humor and truthfulness this information has been presented with. The site is called Stuff Dutch people like and here’s a small quote from their page
Q:Huh? Who are these black guys? Bodyguards? Elves?
A: These friends, Zwarte Piets, are Sint‘s mischievous helpers and they can be seen through town violently whipping hard-stone like cookies (aka: pepernoten) at children and passerby’s. Duck!
Q:I don’t get it. Why are their faces painted black?
A: Please. Save yourself the trouble and don’t go asking this question in your Dutch workplace. You won’t make any friends. You can speak your mind here.
Q:Wait. Am I allowed to say anything critical about the Sinterklaas tradition?
So aswell in my house we celebrate this tradition every single year still. Theres no Dutch childhood complete without Sinterklaas en Zwarte Piet. Now theres been a discussion on this tradition for like quite some time, like over a year people are arguing and beginning law suites against our Zwarte Piet. For people who are not Dutch or don’t live here I can understand our tradition can come across a tad odd. But honestly during my whole childhood I never ever have had any thoughts of racism because of Zwarte Piet. ( Or any racistic thoughts at all and I still don’t) Neither have I ever feelt that it was used to hurt anyone at all. I think the people who claim to have the biggest issues with our zwarte piet don’t really have a issue with zwarte piet. There is NOTHING wrong with our Zwarte Piet. They have issues with racism and they are right to have issues with that, I don’t accept racism either.Racism is not acceptable simple as is. Ruining our Dutch tradition is not acceptable either. Find another way to fight racism.. This isn’t the way, its taking things out of context and by doing that u are hurting another culture. Thats the message I wanted to bring out here today.
Although I had a lot of other plans this week, like painting the school windows of my youngest daughter her school and working on another crafting project at school, I got caught by the flu together with my two girls. So I got back to deleting users from the user list on my blog. I have so far still 260 users left that are registered after I all ready have deleted at least 500 fake accounts so far. It’s no surprise that every week i have at least 8 new registrations to my blog. Mostly all fake accounts from spammers. I have no idea what kind of goal they trying to reach with this. My spam filter will catch 99% of all the spam they post and gets deleted without me ever seeing anything of it if I don’t want to. How dumb found are those people who use those spam bots?
Everyone that wants to comment to my site have to register first. That is for a few reasons. In the first place I like to know who comments on my blog, after all this IS a personal blog. Secondly it filters out spammers a little bit all ready at fore hand. All comments that are being posted by my users are going through a spam filter. If the message passes the spam filter It will still not be posted to the blog automatically. I manually have to approve each and every comment on my blog. This so hateful and stupid comments won’t even make it to public and you wont be bothered by it and for me its easier to see all my new comments at one glance, and I am glad I have decided to do this because the number of spam bots registering to my site are enormous. The number of spam messages are large too and multiple by same registered users often. Most of those spammers that constantly try to spam my blog with unwanted and unasked for comments about Viagra, Weight loss products an other nonsense I simply block.
Since the number of registered users has grown so enormously that today I have started to clean up my users list on my blog site. What does that mean? It means I am simple one by one manually removing removing registered users that I suspect to be registered by bots. Spam bots are these called. Many of those I have all ready deleted but now I will try to get rid of all of them.
The reason why I am informing u, my user of this is simple. I am human and therefore I make mistakes. It may so happen that by accident I don’t recognize you as a person and delete you. I hope you will not hold that against me and come back to my blog. The removal is just that, removal and not a block so you can easily return and re-register. That’s all! Thank you.
Although I haven’t blogged about it in long, I still bake n decorate cakes. With everything going on at the moment, I am getting some help tho. I still do all the planning, organizing n baking myself. Most of the cake decorating too but Antonio helps me out where I lose my patience with it. I think one of my favorite cakes we made this year so far has got to be the minion cake I made for my friends daughter her birthday.
Just love that silly look on its face!