Today is a good day!

That’s because today, we celebrate Sinterklaas or Sint-Nicolaas’ birthday (let’s call him Sint after this; it’s what all the cool people are doing), and with birthdays come gifts. Who doesn't like gifts?

Granted, sometimes it can be hard to find the right gifts, especially around the holidays when there’s already so many gifts to get your loved ones. Luckily, Sint has got you covered! Because typically, when it’s someone's birthday, it’s time to give gifts. At this time of year, Saint Nicholas flips the script and he brings everyone else gifts on his birthday, December 6th. 

In Dutch culture, Sint is a legendary figure based on Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of children. He is based on the historical figure of Nicholas of Myra (270–343 A.D.), a Greek bishop of Myra in present-day Turkey who is depicted as an elderly, stately and serious man with white hair and a long, full beard. He wears a long red cape or chasuble over a traditional white bishop’s alb and a sometimes-red stole, dons a red mitre and ruby ring, and holds a gold-coloured crosier, a long ceremonial shepherd’s staff with a fancy curled top. He traditionally rides a white horse. In Belgium his horse is called Bad-Weather-Today (literally translated from the dutch: “Slecht-Weer-Vandaag”), based on a hilarious misunderstanding between Sint and his helper. Sinterklaas carries a big, red book which records whether each child has been good or naughty in the past year.

Sint is the European counterpart and source to America's Santa Claus, who is also dressed in red and has a white beard. But unlike Sint, Santa flies through the sky via a giant red sleigh filled with toys and pulled by eight magical reindeer. He likes to wander around rooftops, drop down chimneys to leave children who have been nice all year, the presents they want most, and nibbles on the cookies the children left out for him.

But since Sint is the patron saint of children, he usually only visits children's homes. Luckily, this year, the employees in the Gent, Belgium office have managed to convince him that all of the people working at Waylay have been especially nice, so he paid us a visit as well! 

Every so often, Waylay likes to do something nice for our team. This time, it was very easy because all we had to do was let Sint in (unfortunately, we don’t have a chimney for him to drop down in) and what a surprise he left us! 

A little surprise on our desks

In our office, there is a bit of a coffee culture. 

What I mean is, it’s never boring walking past the coffee machine. If you don’t bump into Veselin retelling one of his amazing stories about handball, literature, artificial intelligence, or physics,... (seriously, you name it, he has a story about it!), you may instead find Bruno pouring a fresh coffee into his not super fresh looking cup (according to him, the best way to prevent people stealing your favorite cup is to have it looking a bit brownish with old coffee stains). 

Or, you might run into any other person on the team, and I don’t think you can find even one who doesn’t have anything to offer. Whether it’s cracking an innocent little joke, getting you up to speed on the latest and greatest, or sharing the occasional piece of office gossip (you know who you are!). 

Point is, there is always something to do, and now, with the new additions to our cupboard, we’ll always have something to look at while we enjoy the little coffee machine moments. Thank you, Saint Nicholas!

About the author

Elooi De Buck has been with Waylay for a while, mostly working behind the creative scenes of Waylay — in graphics, animations, website and marketing automations.