News - December 8, 2016

Guilty Christmas Pleasures

Marijn Flipse

Photos: Sven Menschel

Addicted to Christmas music


‘I am addicted to Christmas music. It helps me study. I can concentrate better and I don’t feel the urge to go outside. It makes it so cosy indoors. I have a favourite Christmas band, the Pentatonics. They sing a capella and their technique is very good. That is important to me when I listen to music. I start to feel Christmassy in September, just after the summer holiday. I also listen to Skyradio Christmas or to Christmas playlists on Spotify. Some people are a bit shocked when they hear about this and wonder if I’m not sick of Christmas music by November. But I just play a different playlist; I can’t get enough of it. I’m doing an internship in Germany now, and the songs are in German. That’s awful. Luckily there’s a Christmas market around every corner, which makes up for it to a great extent.’

Linda van Garderen

Double Master’s in Environmental sciences and Climate studies

Top 2000 16 hours a day‘

20-Sven Menschel-3_BEW.jpg

I’m not very into Christmas but I am into the Top2000 on Radio 2. I think I listen to it about 16 hours a day. This music list is played between Christmas and New Year. The radio is on whenever possible. Otherwise I have earphones and I just listen on my mobile. The only time I don’t listen is when I have obligations such as sport training. I never used to be interested. I began to take more interest in music in the fifth year at secondary school. In the break we sat at a computer with speakers and listened to the golden oldies. Now I’m addicted. You can vote on the list and I do that every year. The Top2000 café is open in Hilversum in the period between Christmas and New Year. You can go there to savour the atmosphere and see the DJs. I went two years ago and I think I’ll go again this year. It’s a question of picking the right moment, because it can be extremely packed. I think I’ll go on Boxing Day around dinner time, when everyone’s having Christmas dinner. What’s my favourite number? Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish you were here’. The lyrics are good and the music is beautiful. I’d like them to be number one.’

Hylke van de Wal

Bachelor’s in Soil, Water and Atmosphere 

Christmas tree, Christmas jumper and above all, pink baubles

20-Sven Menschel-1_BEW.jpg

‘My sister and I start listening to Christmas music from September onwards and I have my Christmas tree up from October. I love Christmas, and I like wearing a Christmas jumper with Christmas leggings, and I have loads of Christmas socks. It is just the nicest time of year. You see your family, you eat nice food, there are lights everywhere, everything is beautifully decorated. This weekend I went to a garden centre and some furniture shops with my mother to get Christmas decorations. I love it. My tree is full of Christmas baubles I’ve been given. By my grandma, mother and aunt, for instance. Pink is my favourite colour, so most of the baubles are pink. I always play Christmas music while I study. I listen to anything, from playlists on Spotify to American or Scandinavian Christmas radio stations. Lovely.’

Cecile Geuijen

Bachelor’s in Food Technology


Boerenkool with all the family’

20-Sven Menschel-2_BEW.jpg

‘From before I was born my mother’s side of the family have always eaten boerenkool (mashed potato with kale) with sausage on Boxing Day. And we still do. Someone tried to change this once but my 86-year-old grandma wouldn’t hear of it. We eat boerenkool and nothing else. My grandma has five children and everyone organizes something: one person brings snacks for before the meal, someone else brings drinks and someone else the boerenkool and sausage. During the day we get together and play games. Early evening we all start peeling potatoes. It goes quite quickly because there are 30 of us. I’ve got quite a boisterous family so it’s always jolly and noisy. Before we eat my grandma chooses a poem and reads it aloud. A tin is passed around the table and everyone puts some money in it for a charity. We all sit at a long table with two huge pans of boerenkool and sausage. A lot of my family wear something silly at Christmas. I sometimes wear a Christmas jumper but this year I’ll be wearing a broche. It is a reindeer’s head with flashing lights.’


Eva Wijntjes

Master’s Food Technology