29 Dec 2007


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"messy" pictures are here

This year we went to Amsterdam (Netherlands) to celebrate Christmas there together with my son. I had seen Amsterdam in spring, summer and automn but never during Christmas time and I was quite disappointed.

The city had very poor or rather no Christmas decoration compared to other European cities. Only the shops had done a little effort. There was no Christmas market and only a few light garlands on the streets in the center. I heard that they only start to do some Christmas decoration and that it hadn't been the use at all so far.

The official Christmas tree in the Center was very poorly decorated and there was nothing else around. Finally I saw a little bit in the western area of Amsterdam. We made a walk through this area and I took some pictures.

The private houses had no decoration at all not even in the windows. I saw maybe two. The so decorative house boats were not decorated either I only saw one. I also was told that not all families do a Christmas tree and this too only starts. Christmas trees apparently were only put up by catholic families in the past.

My conclusion was, it is really not a city to visit around Christmas and get into Christmas mood !

There is almost no decoration at these houses. The place in front was covered with little metal sculptures of reptiles

The Hard Rock Café had some decoration !

and around the Vondel park which is the biggest park in Amsterdam there was again nothing.

On a little place we finally found something christmaslike and I bought a portion of Poffertjes.These are mini pancakes which are baked on this special griddle. It is served with powder sugar and tastes delicious.

This time I didn't want to see more of Amsterdam, it was too depressing ! Fortunately at our son's appartment it was really Christmas !

We use to celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve and start with an apertitif while unwrapping our Christmas gifts. Then we have a nice meal.

A beautiful Christmas tree

A nicely decorated table, our son even ironed the Christmas table cloth and I found it funny because I never iron anything and my table cloth is iron free ! Here we are with a couple of their friends and our son's girl friend sitting in front of Mr. Gattino.

An open fire in the Television

Jersey the dog who belongs to a collegue, is spending Christmas holidays with our son.

and even the big Buddah he bought in Vietnam was in a christmassy dress.


  1. There's really hardly any X'mas decorations there..sad sight.
    LOL! I cracked up the moment I saw ur decorated Buddha..
    Happy 2008!!

  2. It looks like you had a good time despite the dutch austerity.

    Have you posted the Belgian decorations? I'd like to see the difference from Amsterdam to where you are...?

    Anyway - All the best for New Year. I wish you a very happy 2008 x

  3. LOL, LOL....I did find it Gattina...Kind of by default!
    Your sons place is very charming...And I see what you mean about Amsterdam....! It COULD be soooo very Beautiful! I wonder why they don't do much decorating?

  4. Didn't you visit Amsterdam's famous "red light district". Perhaps, the girls there put on some extra Christmasy bangles and bows!

    You son's place looks very cosy.

    I notice you have not adopted the English tradition of "crackers" or you would be wearing silly paper hats. We always had crackers at our Chrsitmas meal.

    The dog looks totally humiliated with the fake antlers.

  5. Nice pictures! I thought they would make more of an effort to decorate in Amsterdam! I'll need to ask my Dutch friend about it!

  6. Well at least the house look very festive and colorful. My daughter lives outside of New York City and took beautiful pictures of the store windows. I'm glad you had a nice Christmas with family.

  7. Oh dear! Tell Mr. Gattino to CHEER UP! He should be at least as happy as Buddha to be celebrating! You know... I bet 20 years from now, Amsterdam will be in full Christmas dress for the holidays! It just takes a little longer for America to corrupt some countries... I bet Amsterdam (Netherlands) still thinks Christmas is all about Church and stuff... ;)

  8. Thanks for these nice pictures!! I really like seeing how Christmas is celebrated in other countries!! I have been to Belgium, Austria and Hungry but not at Christmas time. Maybe they just do not want to go with everyone!! Sounds that way


  9. Wonderful that you enjoyed the holiday with your son. Strange that the people in Amsterdam do not decorate! But then, I have not spent time in countries that do not.
    Your son is very handsome!

  10. No, that really didn't look very christmassy! Very strange. I'm glad that you had some xmas feeling in your son's home at least!

    Your son looks like he is very nice - no wonder with you as parents :-)

    Wonderful, you mentioned Poffertjes! I have been trying to remember the names of those since we had it in Haarlem whn we were there and did take photos of it! Now I know thanks to you!

  11. It is sad! This year despite all the ups and downs with momma, this turned out to be a beautiful Christmas. People every where here went all out this year despite most of the jobs are hardly working. I did get a few pictures and maybe will post them later. I wish I had go more picture of other's houses while we were out.
    Here's hoping you have a wonderful 2008!

  12. Hello Gattina
    Perhaps they have other fests in Amsterdam! I wish that for them! We have many people from Holland here in Ollioules who bought several years ago houses in the old town! They should know christmas now! je vois que vous faites comme nous pour la Nouvelle Année! Demain nous allons normalement à Avignon! Je dis normalement car les deux sisters ont été malades(angine et bronchite). J'espère que je trouverai quelques bonnes choses pour le réveillon là-bas! Bon je retourne sur Toulon pour acheter "L'école des femmes à Mélissa" de Molière pour sa classe! Alors à lundi puisque demain on est à Avignon! Passe un bon dimanche!

  13. How disappointing for you! But at least your son had the look of the season!
    Not as many do lights outdoors here as they used to but everyone does a tree, although many are fake. Ours is a Fraser Fir!

    Happy New Year!

  14. Oh, I can see what you mean in your comment about Amsterdam! Unbelievable that it is not decorated. I was there a long long time ago, but in summer!
    Aber du hattest ja eine schöne Zeit im Kreise deiner Familie!
    Und ich hab es schon wieder nicht geschafft, bei Photohunters mitzumachen. Vielleicht als Vorsatz für das neue jahr?!?!

  15. I have been to the Netherlands in spring and it was a joy. We visited Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse. Sad sight during Christmas though, judging from your photos. But at least you get to spend it with your loved ones and that makes it more meaningful than any other decorations.

    Have a great New Year!


  16. Happy New Year in advance! Very beautiful christmas picture and I must say I like that table cloth very much :) and of course Jersey the dog. I thought your "daughter in law" would be the one in the middle in the picture because that girl looks quite nice and has a happy face - would fit to your personality. Yes, I heard from a former colleague (born and still living in Amsterdam) that it is not a place to go during Christmas. So I was warned :)
    BTw, very beautiful fireworks there for your heading :)

  17. Vondel park is beautiful but it doesn't look like the best Christmasy place. I like the ones with lots of decorations, lots of tasteful decor I should say!

    But still you had an adventure...you have so many wonderful adventures and I enjoyed the photos. The thing I love about Blogging is I can see and understand things from all over the world now!


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