3 amazing Christmas Events in Holland

Just a few nights until Christmas Eve and I really feel the anticipation everywhere. During the last days I saw many beautifully decorated Christmas trees, delicious treats and cool gift ideas from all over the world. Since Dutch people always do things a little different than the rest of the world, we also have a different Christmas tradition.

The Christmas Man
Unlike in the US for instance, Christmas in Holland is not about Santa Claus and reindeer. In fact, we already celebrated ‘Sinterklaas’ (St. Nicholas Day) on December 5. This is the day where Dutch children get most excited about and where they receive the big presents. However, Santa Claus has found a way to edge into Dutch Christmas as Kerstman (The Christmas Man). Of course, kids are only too happy to accept two gift-giving old men.

Cosy atmosphere
Most of all, Christmas in Holland is about the ambiance. People buy Christmas trees and decorate them with Christmas wreath cookies, glass balls and white candles. The main square of every city has its own brightly lit Christmas tree and in the bigger cities there are lots of cool activities. Here some examples:

Blog Holland Christmas

Maastricht is a great place to enjoy ‘the good life’ at any time of the year but it’s even more magical during the holiday season. During this period, several Christmas markets themed “Magical Maastricht” are held throughout the city.

Blog Holland Amsterdam Light

During the Amsterdam Light Festival in December, the best light artists from Holland and abroad light up the city’s canals with their work. Every night you can see the beautiful works along the Amstel river or the old canals in the city centre.

Blog Holland Zwolle Ice

This winter will see Zwolle’s city centre dominated by the Grimm brothers and their famous fairytales. Dozens of Dutch and international ice artists will be creating ice sculptures on the Rodetorenplein square, showing off their personal interpretation of the Grimm tales.

What will you do on Christmas?
Will you celebrate it traditionally with friends and family? Or do you have an alternative way to spend the holidays? I’d love to hear about it.

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A small etiquette guide for your office Christmas party

It’s the annual Christmas party of your company. Time to let your hair down, get drunk with your boss and speak your mind, right? You better don’t . Even if this event is called a party, you are still in a professional function and you should behave like that. Remember, that you’ll have to face your co-workers again after the holidays. Foolish behaviour can destroy your good reputation at this company like a sledgehammer. But this does not mean that you can’t have fun. With these tips you will make the best of the event.

Blog Holland Party

1.    Early birds

The most important function of an office Christmas party is to socialize and network with your colleagues. This works best during the early stage of a party, when the atmosphere is still relaxed. Grab your chance and chat with senior executives before it gets to hectic.

2.    Don’t be shy

You use to spend office parties in a corner with the people from your department? That’s not how you work on your career. Branch out, introduce yourself to co-workers you don’t know. You never know if you might profit from these new connections.

3.    Keep control

In case of alcohol, less is more.  Enjoy a drink or two but don’t lose control. Getting drunk at your office party will make you the target of nasty jokes at least until the next party. Besides, you might destroy all the good connections you built during the last year.

4.    Watch your tongue

Of course you can engage in more informal chats about family and hobbies and make an appropriate joke now and then. But no matter how much the atmosphere loosens up – be careful with your humour. Some jokes may offend people around you.

5.    Be nice to your boss

Maybe you had a rough year and you are frustrated about your job. Probably, you are annoyed by your boss. Whatever it is, keep it to yourself. Don’t hold forth about how bad your boss does his job and how you would run the company. Everybody would be grateful for your silence.

Last but not least: enjoy yourself. It still is a party. What was the biggest blunder you ever experienced during an office party? I’d love to share some funny stories.