It’s 10 AM on New Year’s Eve and fireworks in Delft have been going off for at least two hours. I can’t see all the displays but constantly hear small-scale explosions. New Year’s Eve, you know, is the only day of the year when fireworks are legal here.
So, before we blast in 2011, I figured I need to pick up my slacker tail and get a post done. We had ourselves a merry little European Kerst last week. On Christmas Eve we attended a mass in Dutch at Maria van Jessekerk in Delft, very nearby our home. Most of the service was printed in the bulletin, and to my delight I found following along was not so hard. (Context clues help.)
We had never been inside this beautiful old church before, and when we walked through the heavy wooden doors, I finally got that elusive CHRISTMAS! feeling. Used to seeing lots of family and participating in church services, I’d been having a hard time feeling like it was really Christmas Eve on this ordinary quiet day. When we left church I felt much refreshed by the utter beauty of Christmas on a spiritual as well as a dazzling-lights-and-trees level.
At home we prepared a fancy meal that was consumed way too late at night, and the next morning we drank coffee and exchanged gifts before participating in chaotic Skype with families in the US. Even more than for Santa, we’ve been vigilantly watching for the TNT post man (and for his US counterparts). We discovered that at the holidays the international post becomes some kind of vortex. Packages I sent to New Jersey the first week of December have yet to surface, and things sent by my parents via “3-5 day delivery” on December 17 are also unaccounted for. (However, we did receive a package mailed in California on December 22.)
New Year’s Eve is not traditionally one of my biggest holidays (one major obstacle being my inability to stay awake to midnight), but I’m going to try and stay up tonight to see the supposedly crazy Dutch celebrations we’ve been hearing about. And maybe make some New Year’s Resolutions! I love a good list. I think my most successful resolution of 2010 was to eat breakfast (a major behavioral change if ever there was one).
Merry belated Christmas to you all, and a joyous New Year’s Eve!