Christmas Around the World Blog Hop: The Netherlands

Christmas Around the World! For 32 days (November 23rd – December 24th, 2012) you will get to “travel” to a new country each day  learning about how the holidays are celebrated in other countries!  If you visit Beth’s Living Life Intentionally blog post, you will find the links to all the blog posts in this series. While there, get a printable passport and a free eBook, as well.  SEE FREEBIE Printable NEAR END OF THIS POST, and also a free SMART Board lesson about the Netherlands.

Today is my blog post as part of this series, and I am writing about The Netherlands.  I lived there for one year and this blog post is about what I experienced.

information photo for blog post about Christmas in the Netherlands

What are some of the first things that come to mind when you hear the words, The Netherlands?  Tulips, windmills, bicycles, dikes by the sea, canals, and the capital city Amsterdam .  You would see these things if you traveled to this country.  Did you think of the word, Holland? That is not the official name!  The official name is The Kingdom of the Netherlands.  Holland is actually one of the provinces of the Netherlands.
photo of some symbols of the Netherlands
Here are some actual homes along a canal in Amsterdam, the capital of The Netherlands:
 photo from
The houses  in the photo below are historic replicas of actual houses along the canal in Amsterdam.  Each year a set of 6 Delft home replicas was released for interested collectors.  Historic details are provided for each home carefully crafted by the Royal Goedewaagen “Blue Delft” and painted by hand.
photo from Carolyn's house
Tulips are so important to the economy of The Netherlands that they are very carefully tended and selected as the bulbs are sold the world over.  The most beautiful tulips have been carefully cultivated.  Your greenhouse may sell bulbs from The Netherlands.
 photo from
This photo is of a canal in the Netherlands.  The canals help hold back the sea. St. Nicholas rides a boat up the canal when he arrives each year.
photo of a canal in the Netherlands, photo from

This shoe must be for a Dutch Cinderella, why else would it be about 20 inches long? This shoe was made in Best, The Netherlands, the only village that still has shops that make wooden shoes.  It really isn’t a lost Cinderella slipper, but is intended for use as household decor. This would be a great shoe to leave outside the door on St. Nicholas Eve, as it would be filled with good things by morning if you have behaved this past year.

photo of wooden shoe from Best, the Netherlands, filled with candy after St. Nicholas Day
This isn’t really a recipe, but a fun cake I saw people make and enjoy in the Netherlands.  Of course, it is a windmill cake!  I don’t have a recipe, but what I do is get a frozen Sara Lee pound cake (because it will stand up if you decorate it when it is still frozen), and then add rectangular cookies to make it look like a windmill.  Decorations may be added to look like bricks or decor. However, here is a traditional Dutch Christmas recipe with a photo. The Banketstaaf, or Dutch Christmas Log, looks delicious!  This link is to a page of  Dutch cookie recipes on the All Recipes site.
photo of windmill cake
This link goes to a fabulous page of Dutch activities for Kids on the DLTK site.  There are printables and crafts, as well as online Dutch puzzles.  Check it out as these activities really are kid-friendly.
Simple craft ideas include making a windmill out of paper rolled up, and making a St. Nick hat.  The windmill is just a rolled up piece of paper, and the “St. Nick Hat” is make from a grocery bag.  My son was two years old when we lived in the Netherlands, and he wore his lovely hat that looked just about like the one in this photo for many days.  Of course, when you see St. Nicholas has a pointed hat, that is what you want, too!
photo of two simple Dutch crafts
This is a link to a book about Christmas in the Netherlands, although I have not read it.  We had children’s books at the time.  (Note:  I am not an Amazon affiliate.) Here is a free 7 page printable with a cut and paste wooden shoe paper craft, a work page, word cards, and a writing frame.
photo of pages in children's printable St. Nick pages
Here is a free SMART board lesson about The Netherlands.  This presentation has two parts:  first, about the country, and secondly about St. Nick Day, so be sure to save this presentation.  If you don’t have a SMART Board, you can download a free SMART Board viewer and watch this presentation on your computer.  There is even an iTunes app available for purchase so that children can interact with any SMART Board lessons on iPad. (Note:  I am not selling apps, either).
photo of some slides in the smartboard lesson for the Netherlands and St. Nick

Be sure to check out the rest of the blog hop and visit the many countries over the 32 days of sharing!

 Be sure to get the free eBook and printable passport at Living Live Intentionally, of the Living Life Intentionally Christmas Blog Hop Button and Link

Thank you for reading, Carolyn

Freebie Fridays

About Carolyn Wilhelm

Carolyn Wilhelm is the author of The Wise Owl Factory, The Wise Owl Factory Book a Day Blog, and is web master for the Wise Owl Factory Teaching Friends blog She has an MS in Gifted Education, an MA in Curriculum and Instruction K-12, and is a National Board Certified Teacher.
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4 Responses to Christmas Around the World Blog Hop: The Netherlands

  1. Dear Tonya: The Czech Republic has the most amazing story! Read that one! I have learned so much from this blog hop. Carolyn
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  2. Thank you for your kind words, Beth. I’m so glad you invited me to participate in the Christmas Around the World Blog Hop. It has been so interesting to find out traditions and customs around the world. This was a really excellent idea! At school, we always taught Christmas and holidays around the world as then we could include our own Christmas stories. So I thought I knew something about other countries but I have learned so much from this blog hop! Thanks again, Carolyn
    Carolyn Wilhelm recently posted..Christmas Around the World Blog Hop: The NetherlandsMy Profile

  3. Beth says:

    This is GREAT! You have so much great info and beautiful pictures! I love, love, love the treat you made – so clever! And thanks for the printables & even smartboard freebies – WOW!!

    So glad you joined us in our Christmas Around the World series!! I am sharing this on Facebook with my readers =-)

  4. Tonya Dirksen says:

    This is great! Thanks for sharing about Christmas in the Netherlands. Your wooden shoe activities will be perfect to do today. I didn’t know about the Christmas Around the World blog hop and now I’m interested to read other ideas!