A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Christmas is my favorite time of year, I love the feeling of it; the childish excitement which floods me when I stop and remember it’s December, or open another window in my advent calender. There are so many things I love about Christmas: the lights, the food, mulled wine, buying gifts and even wrapping up warm against the cold wind! For all these reasons, I have been especially enjoying experiencing the Christmas season out here in The Netherlands, there seems to be so much of my favorite Christmas things, and all in an environment so beautiful that sometimes I can’t believe that I am lucky enough to be living here!
This weekend I realized that I had bought no Christmas presents – I panicked about my family back home being disappointed in the lack of tourist tat, or Dutch food stuffs and so I went in pursuit of the perfect Christmas gift. My search brought me to Haarlem. At about a twenty minute train ride from Leiden, it’s a beautiful city to visit, and with a large market square that is overshadowed by a stunning Cathedral it’s well worth a look!
For those shopping-lovers like me it also has so many quaint shops that have unique gifts. Even of you’re not buying it was just lovely to look around at all the Christmas stuff!
On Saturday when I visited, there was the typical Dutch market, so of course we had some Olliballen to celebrate the season! If you haven’t given it a try yet, it’s a yummy snack and particular for this time of the year so well worth a try!
If this wasn’t enough Christmassyness for me in one week, Delft had a beautiful Christmas event too yesterday, with Christmas market, turning on the Christmas tree lights and singing all throughout the city. It was such a beautiful evening and apparently there are similar events in other Dutch cities throughout the month, so if you get a chance it’s well worth it!
The Christmas market, complete with a lot of ‘warme chocomel’ and ‘gluhwijn’!
The main Christmas tree in front of the town hall!
Listening to carols inside this stunning building was such a treat!
All these things are the very reasons I love Christmas so much and why I am especially loving the Dutch Christmas! I’ll keep you posted for my next Christmas adventure!