It is uncertain whether we can celebrate the holidays with family and friends. Yet the Dutch seem to be working on it earlier than ever before; in some living rooms the Christmas tree is already standing. Also retailers and growers stand out: “For some people the holidays cannot start early enough,” says Christmas tree grower Jaap Bolhuis.
Bol.com sees that customers do their Sinterklaas shopping earlier than previous years. “In this time of corona and especially being at home, we see that our customers need cosiness in the home. They have been working on the holidays much earlier than in previous years.”
This is also reflected in the sale of Christmas balls and Christmas trees. “They are sold much earlier and more than in the same period last year.”
Intratuin also sees that the holiday customers flow starts much earlier than previous years. Their Christmas show, which has already been brought forward, is more visited than usual, the Christmas decorations sold better and the sale of the artificial Christmas trees has doubled. “Normally, the customer sets up the Christmas tree after Sinterklaas. Now hes been asking for a while when the real Christmas trees will be sold.”
This recognizes Jaap Bolhuis, who is also secretary of the Dutch Christmas tree grower Association. Christmas trees are in great demand. “The trade also wants the trees on average a week earlier than previous years,” he says.
Chains Kruidvat and Action recognize this as well. Kruidvat: “We call on people to do their Christmas shopping earlier to avoid the peak in December. We want as little crowds as possible.”
Nutcracker dolls and gnomes
Action sees that people shop more consciously: they buy more stuff at once and shop more scattered throughout the day. “Gold and everything that shines is quite popular this year. Nutcracker dolls and gnomes, Christmas balls and lights. Also things to make a Christmas village and advent calendars for pets”, says a spokesman. But also craft equipment and childrens equipment. “Because people dont go on holiday on Christmas holidays and sit at home.”
These people already went “all out” in the autumn holidays with the decoration:
Not only does the Netherlands hang the Christmas decorations earlier, we also listen to Christmas carols and watch Christmas movies a lot. At Netflix, the Christmas movies are already very popular, Skyradio started with their Christmas channel earlier.
And of course, the food is also important. For example, hospitality entrepreneurs are busy with special Christmas menus for home, but also with gourmet packages for Sinterklaasavond, tells Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (KHN).
Those menus are ordered massively, says Matthijs Hijning of Thuisuiteten.nl, which offers menus of restaurants and delivers them throughout the country. “Our website has exploded,” says Hijning. “Im constantly planning and I dont know if our 70 cars and six refrigerated trucks are enough for the holidays. Companies order massively for their staff, but also order individuals. And more and more restaurants want to offer their menu.”
Hijning also sees an increase in sales through their website of crockery and styling and the reservation of home chefs. “People really want to have dinner at home for the holidays.”
And in order to be able to eat out during the holidays, there are also people who book a hotel night, says KHN: “People want to go out for Christmas and want to do it safely in a hotel.”
Anyway, the holidays are at least celebrated. With a Christmas tree. The Intratuin has a tip for that: “Put your tree outside for another two weeks, otherwise you can buy a new tree just before Christmas.”
Tonight, Prime Minister Rutte and Hugo de Jonge are giving another press conference. It is expected that the tightening of the rules of two weeks will be reversed. That would mean that from this week onwards, these are the corona rules: