Baby & kids

Christmas with kids, how do they do it?

16 December 2023

Renske en haar familie

The days become darker, but the streets are illuminated by thousands of tiny lights. Exactly, the holidays are around the corner! December is hectic: running around finding gifts and trying to visit all family members during Christmas. In "how do they do it?" we ask parents about all relatable moments of parenthood. This time we asked Renske (31), e-commerce manager at Naïf and mom of two kids (6 and almost 3). What are the holidays like at her house?

December at Renske's house is a mix of hustle and bustle and peace and quiet. "During the month of december I am trying to find a balance between the fun rush and some time to spend together, a mix of both is a perfect end of the year to me."

What does this month look like at your house? Do you have traditions?

"One of our traditions is that we go ornament hunting with the kids. We take a moment together to visit the Bijenkorf (a high-end Dutch department store) and there they get to pick their own ornament. It's a great way to make some beautiful memories together and it really gets us into the holiday spirit."

"We also visit de Lindenhof almost every year. It's an organic farm in Abcoude (under Amsterdam). It's great to get our groceries there. Usually I already order some things online and then we pick it up later. The kids walk around the barns and of course we eat apple pie and drink coffee at the fire place."

"Before the start of Christmas one of our favorite things to do is to visit Fromagerie Kef. It's a ten minute walk from our house. They sell French cheese; in my opinion this is a must during the Christmas dinner. But it's more than that, there is such a great atmosphere there in December. The line outside is decorated with all these Christmas lights and there are songs played in the background. The kids love to go as well. Mostly so they can already taste everything in advance."

And what about the holidays?

"For years already we have been spending Christmas Eve at the grandpa's (my dad and his boyfriend), all (step)sisters and their partners are there too. When I was little we used to go to church on Christmas Eve and afterwards we would eat stol (a Dutch Christmas bread with raisins and a very sweet almond filling). We still eat the stol in my family, the rest of the tradition didn't survive."

"During the Christmas days we visit, like most other people, all other parents. Both my husband's and my parents are divorced so it's quite the trip through the country for us. There are years where we can't visit everyone, so I am happy that both my parents have new partners. No one has to celebrate Christmas alone."

"As you can see our Christmas planning is usually pretty full. I still try to built in some relax time though. Especially now that I am getting older. I think the second day of Christmas is going to be completely empty this year so I am really going to enjoy it with the family. When the weather is nice we might be able to take a little walk in the forrest in our pajama's. But that's it! I am really looking forward to it."

Christmas means good food. What does dinner look like with you?

"Usually the cooking happens at our parents, we then just take one of the courses for example. This year we decided to go all out with a take-out menu that you need to finish yourself. We did the same thing during the pandemic. I usually go for the vegetarian menu. It's always full of surprises. And of course there will be all kinds of nice wine for the finishing touch."

What about gifts? Are there any under the tree?

"After the Dutch Sinterklaas holiday and all the gifts that are given then, I want Christmas to be about spending time with loved ones. It might be an old fashioned view, but I just don't like the thought that everything is all about getting gifts. My stepfather does have his own little tradition though. He buys everyone a book and puts it under the tree. He made it into a whole study and usually starts three months in advance to collect the perfect books for everyone. Other than that I just expect to find pine needles under the tree."