Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Christmas and New Year

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

First of all: We wish you all the best for 2009 !
After setting up the Christmas Tree and the Christmas Carols it was fun to experience the way Christmas is celebrated here. We went for a day to the Brisbane Central Business District to look around. Already in October the shops were decorated for Christmas and started selling typical Christmas products. In the beginning of November Santa, led by his reindeer, is entering the city with the Christmas Parade(s) and there is also a multicultural Christmas Parade. In the weeks before Christmas a lot of activities and attractions are organized with fireworks every evening.

In front of the Brisbane Council we found a large Christmas Tree with a large “Christmas Tree Ball” and in the Queenstreet a Theater acts were performed and there was a Singing Christmas Tree with a choir integrated in a Christmas Tree.

 Christmas tree in Brisbane CBD Christmas Tree Ball Theatre acts in the Queenstreet.

In the Myer shopping centre kids could take a ride through the shop with a Christmas train, they could visit Santa and they could colour a picture with different colours of sand. Behind the windows sophisticated stories with Santa and his helpers were shown with mechanical moving puppets “How Santa really works”.

Christmas train in Myer shopping center Colouring with coloured sand at Myer. How Santa really works (preparing packages with his dwarfs).

Several streets in the city were incredibly decorated. Contests are stimulating streets and individuals to decorate their houses and some homes are even open for the public to have a look inside.

A house fully decorated for Christmas. Another one decorated outside ... and decorated inside.

At school Nicole got many Christmas cards from children in her class. Some of the with candy canes. Candy canes are very popular here and as a result we had a lot of them in the Christmas tree.Nicole's Christmas Beetle.
The day before Christmas Nicole found a Christmas Beetle in the garden. We had never heard about it, but here it seems a well know animal showing up around Christmas with golden shiny wings.

Also here Christmas is very much a family event. When Christmas finally was there we enjoyed to be invited by Dutch friends with young children. The kids could have a swim in their swimming pool and we had a Barbeque.

Snake moving before garage. and moving inside.

When Jan was walking along the house he suddenly heard a strange noise and then saw a snake hiding behind the basketball net. So he moved the basketball net to see the snake more clearly whereafter the snake fled into the garage. That was not a place to keep it, so some action was taken to remove it.

"Dutch New Years Dive'"According to Dutch tradition we had a “Nieuwjaarsduik” (New Year Dive) on the 1st of January with other Dutch families. With a temperature above 30 degrees this wasn’t too bad, although the “Unox erwtensoep” was missing.

This high temperature during Christmas really was weird. It was unreal and didn’t give us the usual Christmas feeling. Anyhow, until now our (plastic) Christmas tree still didn’t melt.

From Australia we would like to thank you for tracking our news on the website in 2008 and staying in touch. We (kids included) really appreciate that. And again we wish you all a very good 2009 !!

Best wishes from Jan, Anita, Nicole and Jorick

“Sinterklaas”, End of School Year, Carols and Christmas.

Monday, December 15th, 2008

These weeks of the year, we have been busy with “children activities”.

After Nicole and Jorick have put the red balloon, found in Alma Zoo, in their shoe, they got some presents and finally Sinterklaas didn’t forget them.

On 30 November Sinterklaas visited Brisbane for a few hours at the Dutch Club.  Already earlier we have visited the Dutch club for “Koninginnefeest” (Queen’s Birthday) and with Easter (with hidden eggs). Both Jorick and Nicole got a present from the Dutch Saint.


On Saturday morning the 6th of December we heard on the Sinterklaas journal that the Boat with packages had returned to Sinterklaas. Soon after that Nicole found the “De Zak van Sinterklaas” (the bag from Sinterklaas) in front of the main entrance, so they were very exited. They were very happy with the presents like the diving equiment, the Insect Catcher and SuperMan suit.


Schools in Australia are now getting closed for the long summer holidays that have started. The closing took place with some celebrations and ceremonies with the presentation of certificates being part of it. The children like it to have 7 weeks off and we have already planned several things to do. 



Again we went to the Queensland State Library where the children love to do creative art, followed by a visit to the Queensland Museum.


Already long before Christmas there are many Christmas Carols events each weekend. From Genesis/BrayPark a Christmas Carols event was organized at the local Warner shopping center with songs and several events (playgrounds, jumping castle, face painting, 4WD info, etc. Nicole participated in the choir and had been practicing for weeks. Songs as “Jingle Bell”, “Rudolf the Red nose Reindeer”, “We wish you a merry Christmas”, … were part of the program. Finally when the main program was started, it had to be closed down after half an hour due to extreme tropical thunderstorms and lightnings. It was a pity.


Last Sunday (14th of December) we have been setting up our Christmas tree. It was bizarre to do this with the air-conditioning on and an outside temperature of 34 degrees. It’s our Dutch Christmas Tree so we are lucky that it still didn’t melt down. Perhaps we should forget all about a white Christmas this year.

Dear all, We wish you all a Merry Christmas with many blessings.

Jan, Anita, Nicole and Jorick.


Remark: The 20 November post has been added recently. Please scroll down in case you missed it.