This Holland race on 13 December (linked below) fits the bill, I think - it's nearby, very affordable and my family can stand in the cold rain and cheer me on. The event looks "gezellig" (Dutch for cozy) & it's in familiar territory - flat, flat, flat. The little movie of the course gives you a good idea of Holland (although I near the beach in Scheveningen, a fishing village, now resort town).
Comments in the guide
And there's a "neighborhood" 10k the following week called the Mackerel Run. Don't know if I'll really feel like another race so soon, but they are offering split pea soup and fried fish for all the runners afterwards. How can I miss that? (here comes the dark wet winter)
For a "big" Marathon close to home, Rotterdam in April 2010.
So, there's a brief sketch. I will start looking at some Olympic distance triathlons too - they're harder to find locally because the North Sea is not really swimmable - most races are in Eastern Holland in lakes. But one of my friends wants to race in the UK, and I have some friends in Sweden & Germany who race tri's too. So we may buddy up for the next race season for some fun.