In response to Arpan's request and Tejvan's example here is a short
summary of the Christmas function in our centre in Amsterdam.
We combined two holidays into one. In Holland on the 5th of December
we usually celebrate "Sinterklaas", a holiday named after a Christian
saint from Turkey, St. Nicholas of Myra who himself became the model
for the American Santa Claus, but that's a different story (which can
be read by clicking http://www.stnicholascenter.org/Brix?pageID=35)
On "Sinterklaas" it is our custom to give each other a present,
wrapped in an original way and accompanied by a rhyming poem.
Tradition has it that any possible flaws of character may be freely,
though gently and humorously addressed in the poem. After all, it is
understood that Sinterklaas is the author of the poems. Like a mild
judge he has observed our behavior during the year to make sure we
have all been good boys and girls. Should one fail his scrutiny, a
one-way ticket to Madrid (our saint's city of residence) in one of his
many jute sacks will most certainly follow.
The boys in our centre eagerly availed themselves of this opportunity
to vent a little of their pent-up irritation and to give generous
advice on desired adjustments in behaviour, which will most certainly
end up unheeded. The girls were less revealing in their poetic
expressions and did not prod too much into sensitive areas - bless
It was all good fun.
The next morning was reserved for bhajan singing, as Annemarie had
compiled booklets with Guru's songs on the Christ. Matthijs' beautiful
accompaniment on the harmonium augmented the lustre and divinity of
Guru's songs. We closed the morning with a short meeting on the
upcoming World Harmony Run and a sumptuous brunch with yoghurt and
scrambled eggs on bread.
In cheerful holiday spirits,