At work we are around 100 people all occupying a giant office. When it is someones birthday usually the person celebrating his/her birthday will bring a big amount of candy. This candy is placed in the kitchen, and everybody who passes by just takes what they like. Usually the birthday is accompanied by an email send to everyone in the office telling everybody there is candy. This ritual happens quite a lot, on average around twice a week.
This year I send a creative email.
Subject: Here we go again!
Another day, another year. The hands of the clock that mark our place in eternity keep ticking without pauze. Minutes become hours, which turn into days and years. Today, once again the inevitable has occurred and my natal day has arrived. To celebrate I am following the uncoerced tradition set by so many of my esteemed colleagues; I brought a sugary treat for you all to indulge. Please feel free to release your inhibitions, take what your heart desires and enjoy the sweetness!
Naturally I don’t want to exclude anyone from this celebration and I know some of you are still in the process of perfecting your mastery of English vocabulary, so in order to be sure this messages reaches all of you in good order I will add a Spanish translation which should cover most, if not all of the emotions I am trying to convey with this email.
¡Es mi cumple, hay dulces!
This year the sint will have quite a boring birthday. There will be no parties and no gatherings. Still we seem to have gotten lucky and we received a letter from the Sint.
Dear Alan, Alex and Dario,
This year I am forced to celebrate my birthday a bit differently. Normally I go to hotel Barbacan in the south to celebrate my birthday with all the Dutch kids, but this year my plans for Sinterklaas have changed quite a bit.
This year I will stay at home, but I sent out my helpers to bring presents to all the kids that have been good. I have included a letter for you guys. I hope that Alex can help you if something needs to be translated to Spanish. All the kids that have behaved well last year will receive a gift, and in your case you have all been pretty good.
Alan, I want to congratulate you with your birthday tomorrow. I have been told that you started playing the piano this year, and that you are really trying hard to do a good job. This is really great! I love piano music and I am happy you started to learn how to play the piano. Your teacher told me you also started reading, and you are doing very well. Very good Alan! I would like you to think about this. When you get bigger people will start to expect more from you. Keep trying to do your best, and try to avoid fighting with your brother all the time.
Alex, this year you broke both your arms! That must have been a terrible experience. I’m happy your arms are slowly getting better but I would advice you to tke things a bit slower and be a bit more careful. I hear you are doing very well at school. This is super important for your future, and I hope you continue to do your best. Please try to not get angry when your parents tell you it is time to stop playing with your tablet.
Dario, you did very well this year. I am very happy with your school results. I have also seen a couple of your drawings. They looked very good and I thing you should keep drawing. Please try to be a bit more organised at home. Cleaning up your stuff after playing will keep your new house nice and clean.
I have one more piece of advice for all three of you. You keep getting bigger and are growing up really fast. One thing important about growing up is realizing that your actions have consequences. Whatever you do can effect your family, your friends or your surroundings. You should try and be aware of the effects you have, and you should all try to behave in a way that makes the effects positive for yourself and for others. Fighting and getting angry will never get you good results. Try and think about this, because this is what is important in growing up. In the end helping others will make things easier for yourself.
I can see that you are all doing very well. This makes me very happy. Next year I really hope to see you personally, and I hope this year you are happy with your presents.
Lots of love,
Alan turns three years old today and that is a great reason to celebrate! For Alan we selected a nice big car as a present. He is obsessed by cars, so we thought and expect that this present will make him very happy. Alan moved mountains in his development the last year. He went from being a small child that liked to observe to a small child dominating his environment. We are very satisfied by all the improvement he is showing. At school he is still a bit quiet but we expect that this will get much better soon.
At home Alan is a great kid. He listens very well, he likes to play with his big brother or even alone with his car, and he learns new thing with ease. The last year he learned very fast how to spend the day without a diaper.
If we look at the ‘big picture’ we can only be very happy. Alan shows great improvements and great potential and in addition he brings loads of happiness into our home.
Alex has his seventh birthday today and that calls for a big party. At times we have some difficulty with him, but if we look at the big picture we can only conclude that he did very very well the last year. At his school we turned out to be a very good student, even getting selected to be the personal aid for his teacher. At his music classes he turned out just a bit better than the other kids, so that as a reward he was selected to sit in the spotlights all the way up front at the closing concert. At taekwondo Alex got promoted two times within the year. First to white-yellow and a short while later to yellow.
Alex has worked hard and made tremendous improvements this last year. We have a boy that in situations of authority (like with teacher) is a very disciplined boy. In all he has deserved a birthday with a nice stack of presents.
Sinterklaas will even visit the Canary Islands! Tonight we are all going to the south to see the sint. All the Dutch children have been invited to hotel Barbacan where the Sint will make his appearance. Alex behaved very well the last year, so there is a good change he’ll get a nice gift.
Update: Alex received his present together with a lot of candy. He liked the party a lot and it was nice seing the Sint arrive with a percussion bend, fireworks en the sint in a nice cabrio instead of his usual white horse.
It is still about a month before the birthday of the sint will be celebrated, but still I have the feeling I was just in time. Just in time buying a play-mobile set with a white sint and a couple of black piets. Just as the tradition prescribes.
Carnival is being celebrated in Spain and due to the nice weather the party in the Canary islands is huge. Everybody is celebrating.
We also joined the festivities and this time we were in the good company of a strange bird. A small little parrot!
The three kings have arrived again! Tonight there is a big parade and tomorrow everybody has the day off. Of course little Alex will get a few more presents if he’s been a good boy of course. In that case the kings will leave some presents this night that Alex will find tomorrow morning.
Finally, the perfect evening has arrived. It is our first traditional Dutch Sinterklaas evening that we celebrate with Alex. Although Alex does not yet seem te realise what is going on. This way it’s a good general rehearsal where we can figure out what areas we are lacking in order to improve in the coming years.
The Sint has already been notified that Alex has been a very good boy this year. The presents have been flown in from Holland, and the typical music (including karaoke versions) is ready. The carrot Alex has left for the horse in his shoe was eaten so all looks well. The only thing we are missing is a cloth bag and the candies to throw around, but for this I will try and find some alternative.
Tonight we sing together and then we open the presents. The little one does not yet show any interest in toys, but maybe he will enjoy the unwrapping.