Last night was St. Nicholas Eve and Romeo, who will be 7 on Monday, still believing firmly in the generous gift-giver and his horde of helpers, was the reason we congregated at his house as a family to enjoy a meal together and exchange presents. Poor Romeo! Once again he missed the arrival of the Saint because one of us had called him away upstairs to look at something just before the crucial moment. He was soon consoled when he found that almost all the items on his Sinterklaas wish list had been crossed off, though.
This year's Sinterklaas was remarkable for the fact that there was another very excited young man taking part in the celebrations. Mick may have gone to stay with his father in Italy for a while, but two of his goth friends who have had some teenage problems of their own at home have been staying with my sister on and off ever since he's gone, and they were there yesterday as well. 18-year old Chris was raised as a Jehova's Witness, which meant he had never in his life been allowed to celebrate Sinterklaas before; he was giddy as a child all evening and quite overcome when he found there were presents for him in Sinterklaas's bag as well. His face lighting up like a candle made this St Nicholas Eve very special.