Happy Sinterclaus Allan and Steve & team!

The holiday season is upon us, and in our tiny country it all started on Saturday, November 15th. On that day Sinterklaas (pronounced "Sinterclaus", from Saint Nicholas) arrived by steamship in The Netherlands, bringing gifts for all. After that, the long wait for the evening of December 5th started, which is when he will deliver his wares all across the country to children that have been good.

At AppSignal, we grew up with Sinterklaas and fondly remember receiving gifts for having been good (or having forgiving parents). Now it's our time to give back, and we would love to bribe you into giving AppSignal a try by sharing some traditional Sinterklaas treats. They come in a gunny sack, the bag that Sinterklaas uses to carry his presents. Though not associated with Sinterklaas, we threw in some stroopwafels too. Please note that most of these products contain tree nuts or peanuts, or were produced in factories that also process tree nuts and peanuts.

That you're getting this sack doesn't mean I'm not disappointed in you guys. Apparently you're running Honeybadger, while you could be running AppSignal. I cry myself to sleep at night. I can't eat because of it (I did lose weight, thanks). What do I need to do to make you give AppSignal a try? Tell me!

Thanks for being awesome, Allan and Steve. Have a great Sinterklaas (tweet us a picture of your sugar rush: @AppSignal)!

Roy Tomeij,
Co-founder of AppSignal

PS: In case you'd like to know more about Sinterklaas or his influence on modern North American culture, read on...

PPS: If you'd like to know more about the products in the sack, let me explain what it all is.

Sinterklaas travels to The Netherlands by steamship from Spain, where he lives. Nobody knows why, because Nicholas of Myra was a bishop from Lycia in present-day Turkey (then part of the Roman empire). He was born around the year 280, and died on December 6, 342. Basically, we got his place of residence wrong and celebrate his date of death.

He roams around on a white horse, riding the roofs during the night. His helpers stuff presents down the chimney, and children leave a bucket of water and a carrot for the horse by the fireplace (or central heating). The next morning, the bucket is always empty and the carrot gone.

There are various tales that tell the story of why Sinterklaas is the patron saint of children (and the city of Amsterdam). One says that he revived three children from death, while a more light-hearted one says he helped three poor girls to pay for their marriage. Either way, he was a swell guy.

If you're used to Santa Claus paying a visit around Christmas time, the similarities aren't coincidental. When the Dutch founded New Amsterdam (present-day New York City) in the 17th century, they brought the tradition of Sinterklaas with them. Washington Irving, author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (among others), wrote "A History of New York" in 1812. In it he depicted a dream sequence of St. Nicholas soaring over treetops in a flying wagon. There also was a pamphlet by John Pintard from 1810, in which he calls for making Saint Nicholas the patron Saint of New York and starting a Sinterklaas tradition. In the pamphlet, Sinterklaas was translated to "Sancta Claus". Add the two, and there's Santa Claus as you may know him.

So we founded New York City, invented Santa Claus, brought stroopwafels to the world (which are cookies, and that word being a direct phonetical translation of the Dutch word "koekje") and run this awesome SaaS called AppSignal. You're welcome!

PS: Sinterklaas brings a bunch of helpers with him, so-called "Petes". Traditionally, they are called "Black Petes", said to be chimney sweapers who are black from soot. They look more like slaves though, and that's offensive to many. At AppSignal we do not approve of the traditional image of Black Petes and support altering the tradition to be more inclusive. We have taken care to not include any product that has a drawing of a Black Pete on its packaging.