I have said several times that I will not start decorating until after December 5th. All you Dutch out there will understand that, but there are of course non-Dutch reading this blog as well, so for you I will explain.
Growing up in the Netherlands, we never got Christmas presents. Well, not counting the book, mandarin and couple of nuts we got from Sunday school. Other than that: nix, nada, nothing. In fact, when I was in primary school, out of a class of 37, there was only one girl who celebrated Christmas with gifts. All the other 36 celebrated St Nicholas.
St Nicholas is a saint (hence the St) who comes to the Netherlands, Flanders (in Belgium) and some regions of Germany in early December. He used to have one helper (Black Peter), but after WWII, the Canadians that helped the country to get back to normal felt that was a bit meager and they added scores and scores.
St Nicholas lives in Madrid, Spain during the year and in November he makes his way by steam boat to the Netherlands. Together with his Black Peters* and his horse Amerigo. On the eve of his birthday which is on December 6th, he, his horse and his helpers take to the roof and leave presents for all the children.
And this means I can't possibly put up decorations to mark Christmas, when St Nicholas hasn't been yet! It would be sacrilege!!!
*In recent years there has been a massive back lash against Black Peters. They are seen as racist because their faces are painted black. Are they slaves? Are they chimney sweeps? Mind you, in Suriname, a former Dutch colony where most inhabitants are in fact black, they paint St Nicholas white!