Without heirloom seed companies, winter gardening would be a dull subject. We wouldn’t need to order ahead or debate between tomato varieties (‘Amish Orange Sherbet’ vs. ‘Black Brandywine’ vs. ‘White Wax’…), or otherwise find entertainment in bizarre vegetable names.
Classic nativity sets are, like potpourri baskets, quickly recognized and easily ignored.
For something more memorable, choose a nativity that…
Is racially neutral (1).
Those familiar with the season of Sinterklaas know that giant chocolate letters have been profusely distributed throughout the Netherlands for the past few weeks.
[For those who are peacefully unaware of this peculiar holiday, David Sedaris has cleverly explained everything you need to know here.]
If you were lucky enough to receive a letter (or five) this year, you might be wondering what to do with such a reserve of chocolate—besides simply eating it. Yes, other options do exist.
The weather has been cantankerously cold lately, thanks to those refreshing Russian winds that strip across this flat country every now and then.
It’s soup weather, for sure.
We’re on the final stretch of 2010 now. Soon, we’ll be socially pressured into either thinking about the future or meditating on the past.
But before that terrible moment arrives, let’s think about right now.
This calls for poetry, outdoor photos and benign background music.
Factory-made plastic wreaths are not always ugly, but they do lack the personal touch that Christmas implies.
And besides, the plastic plant industry is productive enough already with hospital gift shops and low-budget play props.
Instead of increasing the fake plant population, here is a collection of thirteen non-aisled wreaths for the creative mind:
1. Made from excess fluff. (Wherever you might find that…)
If you’re planning to visit Amsterdam (for whatever innocent reason) and you tell someone—especially a non-European—about your Amsterdam plan, he/she will probably make at least one remark:
a.) about Dutch tolerance
b.) about “having fun,” with raised eyebrows
c.) about “staying safe,” with crinkled eyebrows
or d.) with unusual interest in your plans and personal character.
Amsterdammers deserve more respect than that.
Thus: 14 simple non-illicit ways to remember Amsterdam,
just so you know.
with emphasis on bicycles.
We may now begin the Christmas season.
If you lack romance, go for creativity. It’s even better.
Last week, Belgium and the Netherlands were properly rained out with a month’s worth of precipitation in two days. Floods, emergency evacuations and canceled train trips were duly divided among all.
Meanwhile, Denmark has snow.
Despite their collapsed guttural language, we still feel jealous about the Danes every now and then.
(Namely in November, of course, when we aren’t thinking straight).