A Christmas Memory

I don't remember how old our middle daughter was when she learned a Dutch song from an elementary school teacher at Christmas time.

We didn't know what the words meant, but we enjoyed listening to her sing the verse as she skipped around the house that year.

We sang many of the familiar holiday tunes in the car as we drove over the mountains that Christmas Eve to celebrate with family at my brother's house in Gig Harbor.

We stopped to have lunch at a little restaurant when the road made us hungry and weary.  In passing, I noticed that the pretty young woman who took our dinner requests had an unusual accent.  However, we were distracted by our young daughters and entertaining them while we waited for our meal and hadn't chatted with her.

It wasn't too long before the little song was forming once again on the lips of our little singer.  She sang it out clear and sweet:

Sinterklaas, kapoentje
Gooi wat in mijn schoentje,
Breng wat in mijn laarsje,
Dank je Sinterklaasje.

It was not until after she finished the verse that we noticed that our waitress had walked over to our table and was standing close to our daughter.  Tears were rolling down her cheeks.

"How do you know this song?"  She sniffed.

Our daughter proudly responded, "From my teacher!"

"I am from the Netherlands," the tearful server explained, "and, this is the song I sang so much as a child. You have made me remember my home and how much I miss my family."

Then she asked our daughter to sing it once more time.  She got down on her knees and sang the words along with her.

"Oh, thank you!" she exclaimed. "What a wonderful present you have given me today."

Then, she rushed away to get our food.

Hope everyone of you get to remember something special this beautiful Christmas season.


Sandy said…
Sinterklaas, Kapoentje
Throw something in my shoe,
put some in my boot,
Thank you Sinterklaas.

and thank you, Pamela, for putting something in my heart.

Merry Christmas

PS: kapoentje was possibly just put in the song for rhyming purposes...I think it means ladybug.
Faye said…
What would we be without our sweet memories? Yesterday I had lunch with friends and we were reminising about how excited we were as children to be angels in the Christmas pageant and wear a gold halo and wings.

Merry Christmas to you Pamela--and all your little singing angels.
Intense Guy said…

I love this.. a random act of kindness it was.

Sayre said…
I'll bet that waitress NEVER forgets your family - you will become one of her sweetest memories!
Jan said…
What a great, and touching, memory. Thanks for sharing it, and have a wonderful Christmas.
Steve Skinner said…
What a great memory! Best wishes for the best Christmas ever.
Thanks for sharing a sweet memory..Merry Christmas Pamela! :)
bichonpawz said…
What a wonderful memory! Merry Christmas to you and your family Pamela!!
Peter said…
You seem to have an inexhaustible supply of nice stories Pamela. have a lovely Christmas with your extended family.
karisma said…
Much love, hugs and smoochies to you and yours! May your lives be filled with peace, love and happiness! xoxoxox
The Church Lady said…
THat is a sweet memory! Your daughter made this waitresses day! You just never know how or when you will touch someone's life. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas Pamela and best wishes to you and yours for a happy and healthy 2011!
grammy said…
What a sweet story. We never know what and why something will touch someone in a big way. What a gift that song was to her (o:
Hope you had a very Merry Christmas.
JoeinVegas said…
We just saw Santa singing that in Miracle on 34th Street.
~sWaMpY~ said…
What a special memory. . . for all of you !
I know that 2010 holds many memories for you . . . some good, some not as good !
Hoping that 2011 will be a year of good memories for you and yours.
Gail said…
What a wonderful story...the truth of Christmas, the moments we can touch some one's heart.
Hayden said…
beautiful. brought me tears. one never knows when a word - or song - will bring profound peace/joy to someone. It's a mystery of the universe.
lisaschaos said…
I knew your family was special! I'm sure you touched that lady so much that she remembers it still. :)
Kila said…
Aww, what a wonderful memory. Thanks for sharing it with us :)

Happy New Year to you and yours!
Gattina said…
What a sweet story ! In Holland they celebrate Saint Niclas more than Christmas. That's when everybody gets big presents. This song is for St. Niclas. I was so disappointed when I first celebrated Christmas in Amsterdam, there was not even Christmas decorations, and my DIL had to get used to the customs from the rest of the world. She never had a Christmas tree and Christmas was only a family gathering and church. But now she loves it ! and this year Amsterdam was decorated for Christmas too !
I am just catching up on your posts !

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