Thursday 27 November 2008

Some Christmas decorations

Little by little the Christmas feeling is coming.

I started the decorations yesterday with a cute little Christmas tree (it's about 15 cm high...) with glass ornaments. Isn't it lovely?
But the decorations will go on...
More later!
Hope you all enjoy this cosy season!

Monday 10 November 2008

Time to help!

As a volunteer, I'm working for a daycare and community center in a poor neighbourhood, just outside São Paulo.

For the 8th year in a row, we are organizing a Christmas party for the children of this day care center ánd for the children of an orphanage in Extrema, MG. In total we try to make a party for 150 children.

Which means that we raise money via donations (75 R$ or 30 Euros per child) to make an individual Christmas present for each child.

Every present consists of the following items:
* shoes
* clothes
* personal hygiene items
* a real (new!) present
* socks, underpants
* candy

Today we did the wrapping for the day care center, and here are the results:

That means a lot of happy faces!

Friday 7 November 2008

Next step... Christmas or...?

Halloween is gone, time to get organized for Christmas.

Haven't done any decorating yet as I should wait until december 6, the Dutch celebrate the birthday of St. Nicholas (Sinterklaas in Dutch) then.

But, who is St. Nicholas?

The Sinterklaas feast celebrates the name day of Saint Nicholas, patron saint of children. Saint Nicholas was a Greek bishop of Myra in present-day Turkey and became the patron saint of children based on various legends that include resurrecting children from death and saving them from prostitution.
Sinterklaas has a long white beard, wears a red bishop's dress and red mitre (bishop's hat), and holds a crosier, a long gold coloured staff with a fancy curled top. Sinterklaas carries a big book with all the children's names in it, which states whether they have been naughty or nice in the past year.
The temper of Sinterklaas also differs in the some regions of the Netherlands and Belgium. In the Netherlands Sinterklaas is usually a nice, forgiving person. In Belgium, on the other hand, Sinterklaas is less forgiving (like he used to be in the Netherlands). He can be quite severe and takes naughty children back to Spain when they were not nice. "Saint-Nicolas" rides a white horse.

The Dutch community in São Paulo celebrates the birthday of Sinterklaas, he is even coming to visit all the Dutch kids here! However, the Brazilians do not know about this Saint/children's friend and focus on Christmas and Santa Claus.

All around the city you already see big christmas trees and enormous decorations, yes, Christmas is a big thing here.

So let's see who wins in our house: Sinterklaas or Santa Claus???

I'll keep you updated!
Have a great weekend, C.


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