My First Sinterklaas Pakjesavond With My Dutch Family-In-Law

Sinterklaas Pakjesavond

I was very nervous the first time I met my girlfriend’s parents. In fact, I was so nervous that I forgot to pack certain items before we left the house, one of which was a toothbrush. This became a bit of a problem when I tried to brush my teeth that night. I was forced to ask my new parent’s in-law if there was a spare toothbrush I could borrow for the weekend (which there was). This would not have been such a big deal if I had not made the exact same mistake when we visited again a few weeks later and had to ask the exact same question.

I think this is the reason why a few months later I opened my very first present on my very first real Dutch Sinterklaas pakjesavond to discover my very first tooth brush of the evening. It was a very nice brightly coloured tooth brush with a rubber zebra head on the end.

I say my very first toothbrush of the evening because it was not the last. Later I opened another gift to discover a very pink tooth brush, later still a blue tooth brush, followed by a small toothbrush, a stripy toothbrush, a sparkly toothbrush, then another with a rubber monster head on the end.

I was starting to wonder if Sinterklaas had set up a sponsorship deal with the tooth fairy or if the old man was really that concerned about my dental well being from the alarming amount of pepernoten and chocolate letters I had been consuming.

Eventually I received a gift that was very obviously not a tooth brush. It was far too big to be a dental hygiene implement. I believed this fact so adamantly that I announced it very loudly to the room using words such as, “Thank god,” and “finally” with a smirk. I eagerly tore the paper apart to discover; a toothbrush. A toothbrush concealed with-in an elaborate cardboard construction which had been created to hide the fact that it was a toothbrush. The packaging on this one (the real packaging not the fake “I’m not a toothbrush” packaging) claimed that it lit up and played ‘nighty-nighty music’ while the user (evidently a small child) brushed their teeth.

All these toothbrushes came from my girlfriend’s family along with much roaring laughter. By the end of the night I had received at least one tooth brush from each member of the family (along with other non-tooth related gifts of course) and I had learned several new Dutch words such as; Tanden, Tandenborstel and Tandarts.

I enjoyed my very first Sinterklaas pakjesavond a lot and found the toothbrush surprises very funny. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I plan to enjoy it even more with my revenge which I’ve had an entire year to plot.


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12 responses to “My First Sinterklaas Pakjesavond With My Dutch Family-In-Law”

  1. Anneke says:

    Haha! your inlaws have a great sense of humour! This is what happens, you make fun of each other, so now you know, and now you can plan a counterattack, right?

  2. Alison says:

    We did a pakjesavond last year with our friends here and had a great time. We drew names to see who we’d get a gift for and my boyfriend got my name, but he’s awful at shopping, so I ended up buying my own Sinterklaas gift, so I ended up buying myself something quite nice. ;)

  3. Meta says:

    Have you tried ‘papiermache” yet? Magic stuff when combined with balloons. I once made a very big rabbit for my mum, and I think she still has it somewhere :)

  4. VallyP says:

    LOL Stu, and are we going to hear more about Stu’s toothbrush attack…I mean revenge…hehe…I love the fact I’ve now met you and know all sorts of things other people don’t…….chuckles gleefully…I think I’ll blog about it tomorrow…just a whisper…

  5. Gez says:

    Well, with all those toothbrushes, at least you can visit any of your in-laws, and leave one with them for the next time you visit :)

  6. Invader Stu says:

    Anneke – Oh yes. And today is the day of my counter attack (we’re celebrate it a day later then normal). I can’t wait.

    Alison – Hehe. We’ll I’m still a bit bad in that I am buying things up to the last moment. I have everything for this year now though.

    VallyP – Hehe. We’re doing it today so we’ll have to see how it goes. I still have to laugh every time I think about the amazing time of us bumping into each other. It was great :)

    Gez – It does mean I have not had to buy any this year.

  7. thamarai says: what did you plan for your revenge?

  8. Ash says:

    Awesome Stuart! I enjoyed reading this a lot. I must remember to get you a toothbrush when we see each other again ;) It sounds like you got a great family bundled with the gf. Well done!

  9. Invader Stu says:

    thamarai – Dental Floss *Evil Grin*

    Ash – You just made me realize she bought us new toothbrushes two days after we celebrated sinterklaas. SHE GAVE ME A TOOTHBRUSH FOR SINTERKLAAS AGAIN AND I DIDN’T EVEN NOTICE!!!!!!!!!!

  10. The girlfriend says:

    ah well….that’s me…the girlfriend…always sneaking up on you ;P

  11. clarinette says:

    oh god…everytime i go to my inlaws, i am exactly one underwear short, and end up asking my boyfriend’s sister for “something ugly she doesn’t wear”….i am spending christmas there , we were there on 5 december and i did ask for something ugly that time too….i am scared, how many ugly panties will i get??

  12. French Bean says:

    Heh. Perhaps this comment is a year late in the making, but I remember spending one Christmas with my family in Colombia.

    As a form of gifts, my mother had brought little decorated felt-cloth treat bags from the States and offered one to each of the younger family members and neighborhood children (in Colombia, neighbors are practically family).

    For some reason, Mom also had purchased several toothbrushes for the kids and since she could not find another context in which to give them away, a brightly-colored toothbrush was tucked inside each bag.

    A family friend, a dentist, greatly approved of the implied message: “Yes, you can eat candy, but remember to brush your teeth!”

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