Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam has not one, but two bearded gift-bearers that visit during the month of December: Sinterklaas and Santa Claus. Sinterklaas has been the richer holiday icon in Amsterdam, and gives the children most of their gifts on 5 December, marking the feast of St. Nicolas. Santa Claus, whose story is actually based on Sinterklaas', comes on 25 December and brings the children a couple of minor presents. Santa Claus also brings the beginning of the Dutch Christmas—a two-day celebration complete with food, warmth and family—which starts on 25 December and ends on 26 December. For potential visitors, the draw of Amsterdam‘s double-celebration is hard to compete with. Two feasts, two Santas and two days of gleeful Christmas parties. And when it comes to giving and receiving gifts, how much more Christmas could a traveller really ask for?
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