I am half Dutch so I have been told. I have not been able to prove it really, although I do have proof of my great, great, great grandmother being born in Hoorn Holland (Netherlands). In the late 80s, I had the opportunity to live in Wassenaar, Holland. I have mentioned before that my daughter had a Dutch boyfriend while we lived there and several years later, after we moved back to the states, they married. They have 3 children who are more Dutch than I am, but they haven't visited there...yet.
Dutch Christmas (KerstFeest) is differently celebrated than our American Christmas. First of all they honor Sinterclaus who arrives dressed as a Bishop on a white horse in early December on a boat from Spain accompanied by a small black man call Swarte Pete.
Then on Christmas Eve the children leave wooden shoes filled with hay and berries for the horse. If they have been good the shoes are filled with sweets and toys. If they have been bad, Swarte Pete leaves little brown cookies that resemble droppings (instead of coal).
When we lived there, it wasn't as commercial as our holiday. Less gift giving, but just as many parties and dinners. I loved seeing the windows of the major stores which were predominately filled with elaborate gingerbread house or whole village replicas made of chocolate. The Dutch love their chocolate.
Holland is filled with open squares where stalls are set up for Market day in the warmer months. In December Hot Chocolate cafes/huts spring up in the squares. Generally I never, ever drink hot drinks, but oh, that hot chocolate was wonderful.
A wonderful tradition in winter in Holland is highly anticipated every year. The citizens wait for the canals to freeze over. It doesn't happen all that often, but when it does, there are many ice skating competitions on the frozen canals.
I have such wonderful memories of living in Holland.